How to Prevent Nurse Burnout

As many as 34 percent of hospital nurses and 37 percent of nursing home nurses report feeling burned out. Burnout for nurse aides and CNAs is also very high, leading to turnover of around 43 percent. For someone that works in the healthcare industry, its important to take the steps to prevent burnout before you start suffering its effects such as chronic fatigue, feeling of apathy, physical illness, etc. We’ve compiled some of the most effective ways for eliminating nurse burnout, that you can implement into your everyday routine.

Prevent Nurse Burnout
Prevent Nurse Burnout

Speak Up

In nursing, there is a lot of pressure to pick up extra shifts or to work additional hours. From time to time, this is okay. What’s wrong with a little extra money in your pocket? However, constantly overworking yourself is one of the biggest cause of nurse burnout. When you really don’t feel like working overtime, say something. You’ll be glad that you did once you’re able to get a few, much needed, extra hours of sleep.

Enjoy the Little Things

It’s easy to get lost in the minutiae of your day to day routine. Find some little things to find joy in throughout the day. Maybe it’s listening to your favorite songs on the way to work, or enjoying the weather while walking into your facility.

Make Time

If you don’t reserve time to do the things that you want to do, then other people and activities will take over your time. Remind yourself that this is your life that you’re living and that you deserve to set aside time to do the things that you’ve always wanted to do, but never have gotten around to it.

Practice Self Care

You spend the entirety of your profession caring for others. Now its time to make it a goal to set aside time for self care on the daily. There are many ways that you can practice self care from giving yourself a spa day, to doing a yoga class, to learning a new hobby. Whatever refuels your energy, make time to do it!

Have a Reminder

What initially sparked your interest for being a nurse? Who was one of your most memorable mentors? What was one of your biggest impact on a patient or resident? Find a token that represents these moments to hold with you every day so that you can remember these moments. These are the moments that will spark your passion and remind you to keep going.

Find an Outlet

Hobbies and interests act as a getaway from daily hardships. One or two days a week, reserve some time to do the hobby that takes your mind off of things. You’ll wake up the next day feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Make Healthy Choices

How you maintain and nurture your health can have a big impact on your stamina. Poor health leads to getting burned out faster and for longer periods of time. Once you start making healthy choices, you’ll feel way more energized and have the ability to take on those long and stressful shifts.

Work Per Diem

Working per diem allows you to be in charge of your schedule. Work the shifts you want, at the facilities you want. Having a flexible schedule is extremely valuable to those in the healthcare industry, because it’s something that’s not always an option when working full-time. Work per diem and take control of your work-life balance.

Nurse burnout has a serious impact on nurse turnover, patient satisfaction, and the quality of patient care. As a whole, those in the industry should take more steps to actively avoid burnout. This way, we can maintain our passion for caring for patients and residents, while providing a safer experience for everyone involved.

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How to Keep Your Nursing Staff Engaged at Work

Many nurses suffer from burnout at work due to long hours, lack of sleep, and strenuous shifts. This can lead to your nursing staff being unmotivated and providing low-grade care to patients. In order to prevent burnout, facility owners must implement policies that drive motivation and keep employees engaged.

How to Keep Your Nursing Staff Engaged at Work
How to Keep Your Nursing Staff Engaged at Work

When employees are engaged, they are absorbed in their work and take actions to further the organization’s reputation and interests. It’s important to keep employees engaged because they will go out of their way to better your residents and their families. Follow these tips and maintain an enthusiastic workforce.

Give Positive Feedback

Sometimes a little goes a long way. Give your staff a little recognition each day and show that you’re paying attention to all of their efforts. Employees become more inspired and motivated when they feel their work is contributing positively to the organization! Each day encourage your staff to keep up the hard work.

Show Your Appreciation

Implement an employee reward system at your facility whether it be employee of the month, overtime rewards, or work anniversary gifts. Your staff work extremely hard so they deserve a little extra appreciation! This will motivate your employees to provide their very best care every shift.

Plan Events Outside of Work

Plan a team bonding events for your employees, away from your facility. Go out to dinner, attend a sporting event, or host a holiday party. This gives your staff the opportunity to get to know you, as well as the other employees better. Employees are more enthusiastic at work when they feel close to their colleagues.

Define Your Facility’s Mission

Come up with an overall mission that is unique to your company and contributes to a greater purpose. Make it about improving the quality of life of your patients, as well as their families. This serves as a daily motivator and reminder of why your employees come to work every day.

Limit Staffing Shortages

When there are not enough nurses to provide adequate care to patients, your nurses get overworked. Overworking your staff eventually leads to burnout and disengaged employees, which makes your facility and its reputation suffer. Utilizing staffing solutions is a great way to prevent understaffing and keep your current staff engaged.

Make your facility stand out from all the others by treating your employees the best. This will not only bring more highly trained, quality staff to your facility, but also more patients requiring care. Certainly, your staff will come to your facility eager and ready to work!

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46% of Nurses Are Burned Out: The Epidemic

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.

46% of Nurses Are Burned Out: The Epidemic
46% of Nurses Are Burned Out: The Epidemic

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.

Self-Management

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.

Self-Care

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.

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