No job is stress-free. But because clinical nurses work in an environment that is high-stress by nature, this makes them more vulnerable than most other professions. Over the years, studies has shown that compassion fatigue, often referred to as “burnout,” can take a physical and mental toll on nurses, and this at one point or the other in life of most nurse as made many think of leaving the profession.
Nurse burnout can affects patient care negatively, imagine If a nurse showed up at work feeling all tired, disengaged and Unhappy, then best care is not going to be provided by such individual. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) reports that at least 50% of professionals across medical fields report severe symptoms of burnout, including emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and low sense of professional accomplishment. If this is left untreated, the unfortunate side effects of nurses burnout can lead to poor job performance, breach in course of duty, high turnover rates, and even suicide.
What Exactly Causes Nurse’s Burnout
- Stressful, even dangerous work environments
- Long hours shift
- Unbalanced Nurse-patient ratio
- Lack of support or respectful relationships within the health care team
- Understaffing of hospitals
- Low pay scales
- Responsibility of providing high levels of care over long periods
- Frustration, disillusionment from the reality of the job not meeting your expectations.
- Inadequate digital work support
The Dangers of Nurse Burnout
Regardless of the cause, nurse burnout has far-reaching consequences. Evidence from the American Nurses Association suggests that stress from long hours at work, rotating shifts and infrequent breaks slows down reaction times, reduces motivation, and increases errors, all of which can affect patient care.
Interventions To Prevent Or Treat Burnouts In Nursing Professional
Most discussions of burnout interventions focus on individual-centred solutions. These may help individuals alleviate exhaustion, but research suggests they are likely to be relatively ineffective if the workplace allows the nurses to have less or no control over stressors at workplace. Research has found that situational and organisational factors play a bigger role in burnout and work-related stress than individual factors.
★ Improving work schedules
Whenever possible, nurse managers should create humane schedules for their staff, with shift lengths of 9 hours maximum. If you’re a nurse, try to work in a facility that treats its workers well. Avoid working overtime, and advocate for a schedule that lets you live a balanced and healthy life, leaving time and energy for loved ones and your favorite activities.
★ Taking a break
Nurses should start ensuring that they take leaves and days off work so they can deeply relax and get a change of scenery. For this to be effective, institutions need to support by introducing a mandatory vacation day policy with a quarterly check to make sure their staff are taking the time they need. This helps to increase job satisfaction and decrease the turnover rate.
★ Coping mechanisms
One of the best ways to manage your work stressors is to learn coping skills like deep breathing exercise, restorative exercise, reading novels, and practicing a post-work relaxation routine. All this can make a big difference in nurses physical and mental health and well-being.
★ Better salary scales
Government and organizations should implement a new favorable and well deserving salary scales for nurses across the globe, especially in developing country like Nigeria.
★ Embracing digital medicine
Implementation of digital medical support should be paramount in developing countries especially, technology has advanced to the level where digital equipment are in place to relieve health workes of stress from working manually.