Nurse Burnout in Hospitals

Nurse burnout refers to the frustration, decreased productivity, loss of interest, and fatigue caused by overwork and prolonged stress to the nurses (McHugh et al. 2011). In the contemporary high-tech healthcare environment, the nurses routinely take greater responsibilities and workload in addition to the extended to-12-hour shifts. This is worsened by the cost-cutting measures that imply fewer support resources for the nurses. Because of this, many nurses usually deal with a combination of stressors that often take a huge toll on their emotional and physical wellbeing thereby leading to nurse burnout (Meltzer, & Huckabay, 2004). Nursing is a hard physical, emotional and spiritual work despite being satisfying and rewarding. Turmoil and tension come within the territory of being a nurse. Nurse burnout if left unchecked can adversely affect the nurses’ health and career as well as the patient outcomes. In addition, the potential consequences of nurse burnout include physical illness, emotional distress, and interpersonal conflict in nursing (Laschinger & Leiter, 2006).

The common warning signs of nurse burnout include constant fatigue. As noted above, nursing is a physically demanding job and therefore going to bed tired and waking up tired affects the performance of the nurses. However, a good night’s rest is helpful in making nurses feel refreshed and ready to take on another day. Nurses should be given their won space to relieve the stress in the renewal rooms in the hospital’s facilities so as to get away from the commotion for a short time during shifts. Nurses should enjoy time with their friends and family to find the energy to exercise to avoid experiencing physical exhaustion (Vahey et al. 2004).

Another warning sign of nurse burnout is feeling under-appreciated and overworked. A good number of nurses often feel overworked and that their efforts go unnoticed. When a nurse feels this way, they need to cut back on their long working hours (Vahey et al. 2004). In addition, they need to get help if they are taking on too many responsibilities because feeling resentful or frustrated on the job is not good for them, for their patients and their co-workers (Meltzer, & Huckabay, 2004).

In addition, nurse burnout it indicated by the lack of enthusiasm about work and compassion fatigue. Nurses often lose enjoyment in their jobs due to burnout which is a potential danger in the healthcare field because it needs focus on the patients as well as being careful with the procedures (McHugh et al. 2011). A good number of nurses enter the profession with the aim of caring for others due to their high degree of compassion. However, after many years of emotional stress, as well as witnessing pain fear and suffering, the best nurses suffer from compassion fatigue due to burnout (Vahey et al. 2004). To reduce this, hospitals need to try ethics training as well as restructuring leadership so as to relieve stress.

Improvement in the work environment of nurses in hospitals can simultaneously reduce the high levels of burnout of nurses as well as the risk of turnover thereby increasing the patients’ satisfaction with the nurses’ care. Patients’ satisfaction can be increased by ensuring adequate staff, good relations between nurses and doctors through good administrative support for the nursing care (Laschinger & Leiter, 2006).

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