Everyone has been tired before. Sometimes life feels like too much, family responsibilities take its toll, and work adds additional stress. Being burned out, however, is vastly different and causes a lot more harm.
Burnout is a condition caused by an overly exhausting workload. Working long hours, picking up too many shifts, and physical exhaustion can all cause burnout.
Burned out nurses feel disengaged with their job. This causes nurses to lose their passion and job satisfaction. Not only is this mentally and emotionally exhausting for the healthcare professional, but the patient also suffers. Nurses that are burned out are groggy, lethargic, and unmotivated, and therefore cannot provide their best care to patients. It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent this condition BEFORE it happens.
Know the Symptoms
The first step in preventing burnout is knowing what the symptoms are. The first symptom many people notice is feeling completely disengaged with both work and personal life. Prolonged exhaustion is another symptom that is a red flag. Additionally, many nurses who are suffering from burnout have said that they feel a lack of empathy for their patients. Clearly, when a nurse is feeling the effects of burnout, everyone suffers.
When you begin to recognize these symptoms, it is important to take the necessary precautionary measures before burnout takes over. Whether you talk to your supervisor about your workload, or just switch up your schedule, it is important try different techniques to understand what is causing burnout. To take care of others, you must take care of yourself first.
In your time off, keep your own health up to par. Make sure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. This can be difficult for those working long shifts, and for those working nights. However, sleep is necessary. Take naps if you cannot get the recommended amount of sleep at night.
Be sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Most importantly, don’t overwork yourself! One of the benefits of working per-diem is the schedule flexibility. Give yourself scheduled days off. Plan time for rest and relaxation. Do whatever you can to feel your best!
With these tips, we hope to reduce the amount of burned out nurses. By taking preventative measures, the nurse’s, patient’s, and facility’s well-being will all improve.