Burnout is becoming more and more prevalent among nurses and nurse aids. In fact, 66% of new nurse graduates have already experienced burn out. Burnout directly impacts patient safety, satisfaction, and outcomes. It’s important to make sure you show your staff some TLC and prevent burnout before it can even begin.
1. Be Observant –
It’s rare that a nurse or nurse aid will come out and directly say, “I’m feeling burned out.” Often times, nurses are dedicated to getting a job done and providing the best care, even if they do not feel well themselves. This is why managers should be wary of the warning signs of burnout.
The biggest warning signs are low motivation and low enthusiasm. Take notes on your staff. Who has the best attendance, who picks up the most shifts, how happy does the employee seem when you talk, how eager does one seem to improve, etc.? Notes can help you track exactly who is losing motivation and enthusiasm, and why.
2. Give Your Staff a Voice –
When overseeing a large number of nurse and nurse aids, it can be difficult to keep up with each one’s thoughts and feelings. Make an extra effort to talk to your staff. Ask them meaningful questions about their overall job satisfaction. Also find out what you can do to make their job easier. Try putting a suggestions box outside your office or in the break room.
3. Recognize the Stars –
Burnout can cause from nurses and nurse aids feeling under appreciated. If an employee is going above and beyond for their patients, and you’re not recognizing it, what is his/her motivation to keep preforming at the same level?
Providing patient care can be a very demanding and sometimes distressing job. Consider implementing a rewards program for dedicated staff, or an employee of the month program. Give your employees the proper recognition they need so that they feel their hard work paying off.
4. Remind Them Why They Chose Nursing –
Sometimes a reminder of why we need healthcare professionals is rewarding. Gather some positive feedback from your residents and their families and let them shout out the nurses that have provided them with exceptional care. This shows your staff how their work is directly affecting people’s lives for the better. Make a bulletin board that your employees can pin anything to that depicts why they chose to be a healthcare professional.
5. Utilize Supplemental Staffing –
Sometimes facilities experience a peak in their census due to flu season, virus outbreak, etc. Nurse attendance can also fluctuate due to holidays, weekends, and vacations. No matter what, patients require care 24/7/365. These fluctuations can cause nurse and nurse aids to become overworked and burned out. This leads to lower quality patient care and lower quality patient outcomes.
Supplemental nurse staffing can be extremely beneficial for facilities during these peaks and valleys. Having an extra set of hands can put your current staff at a peace of mind. Certainly your nurse and nurse aids won’t have to scramble to give everyone the care they need. Therefore your residents will get the full attention required to prevent future health issues and to speed up recovery.