6 Tips to Reduce Nursing Burnout
Nurses deserve as much respect as doctors do. The amount of dedication and hard work they put into their work is remarkable, even if it costs them their well-being. Undoubtedly, the healthcare system would be incomplete without nurses. Even many doctors, at times, are left miserable without the help and support of nurses.
However, nursing is a demanding job. High workload, the stress of dealing with patients and their families, and rotating shifts can leave nurses emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted, resulting in nursing burnout. Since nurses work extremely hard to establish a career in the healthcare field, it would be a shame to see nurses suffer despite the hard work. The constant pressure on their minds can increase stress levels and cause severe anxiety amongst nurses, leading to a decline in proficiency and productivity.
In extreme cases, nurses might even decide to drop out of their profession permanently. A shortage of healthcare staff is one of the most crucial issues healthcare has to deal with, especially during crises like the recent pandemic. Hence, preventing nursing burnout is crucial. Some common burnout symptoms include tiredness, sickness, insensitivity, overwhelming anxiety, fatigue, and feeling dreadful about working. Hence, awareness and education about prevention from nursing burnout are vital. Below, we have pointed out a few tips which can help cope with nurse burnout.
Maintain a Work-life Balance
The most common cause of nurse burnout is not setting boundaries. Yes, their work as a nurse is essential, but so is having a life outside of work. Notably, nurses who continuously think about work even after the shift ends up developing stress and fatigue. However, most nurses fail to invest in themselves by not setting priorities to engage in activities that support their goal as an individual.
It is worth mentioning that nurses who fail to ensure work-life balance remain unable to consume opportunities to upskill in their profession. More and more universities are now offering online degree programs and courses to help nurses gain further education. Recently, more and more students opt to pursue MSN to DNP online degrees and short courses that cover topics aiming to develop advanced skills among nurses.
Nurses often get so caught up with the work that they forget to take care of themselves in the process. Self-care is the most beneficial technique for destressing. It includes getting an adequate amount of sleep, working out every day, and making sure you are getting enough rest daily. Maintaining a healthy diet is also crucial for self-care. Cut down as many carbs as you can and switch to consuming more vital nutrients such as fiber-filled food.
Most of the nurses feel bad turning down commitments and invest extra time in additional shifts. Working too much can drain their energy. It would be good to work during regular hours and only pick up extra shifts when you need them the most. Last and the most critical self-care tip is to do what makes you happy. Don’t compromise your happiness and peace of mind for anything. Plan out your off days and enjoy them to the fullest.
Make Use of Employee Assistance Programs
Almost every organization offers its employees some benefits. These benefits often include employee assistance programs (EAP). Although the EAPs may differ from facility to facility or employer to employer, EAP usually offers counseling, educational programs, and self-care workshops for nurses on the verge of burnout. Seeking support and venting out about your issues can help you to a great extent. Counselors are trained professionals who will give you the most helpful and appropriate advice.
Create a Positive Work Environment
There is no better support than the one you get from your colleagues. After all, they understand your work stress and difficulties better than anyone else. Perhaps, colleagues supporting each other, whether emotionally or physically, can significantly create a positive work environment. Nurses helping and seeking guidance from each other create a supportive culture. Besides, developing an understanding and appreciation for your colleagues can instantly raise their morale. So, don’t forget to applause your workmate when they deserve it.
Look Out for Your Mental Well-Being
Depression, stress, and anxiety are widespread burnout indicators. However, nurses often fail to identify these issues or live in denial. But, not recognizing your problems won’t do you any good. Indulge in practices that can help you cope up with stress and anxiety. These can include reading for a few minutes daily and taking time off when needed. Small exercises such as walks between breaks can also help with dealing with strain and pressure.
Seek Help through Communication
You might have heard that almost half of the solutions are easy to resolve when communicated effectively to the right person at the right time. Most of the nurses face burnout issues, as they fail to communicate their problems to their managers. It is important to have timely meetings when faced with any difficulty.
Nursing managers’ role is further important in identifying and dealing with the junior nursing staff’s issues. However, nursing managers’ timely group meetings and performance surveys can effectively deal with the issue.
Nursing is a rewarding career and demands extremely hard work and dedication. Nurses are often overworked, underpaid, and undervalued. Suppose we want to discourage the potential threat of nursing burnout. In that case, we need to start by appreciating nurses for their services and effort. Nursing burnout is a serious concern. We can’t and should not overlook it. Educating nurses about ways to deal with the constant work trauma can be a potential solution to avoid burnout.