The term burnout are when workers who experienced chronic stress and emotional exhaustion due to stress from working with people under difficult or demanding conditions. This situation has been in almost all professions and can be found in the nursing practice. According to Mudallal, Othman, and Hassan (2017) nurses often experience emotional, physical, and psychological burnout in the course of their work. This situation is caused by many different reasons such as work environment, interactions with patients and their families, and the nature of the practice.
In the first case nurses may experience stressful situations related their work environment. Mudallal et al. (2017) explain that a majority of hospital and healthcare facilities have been affected by the shortage of nurses, thereby placing additional stress of the nurses who work there. These nurses have to take on the job of other workers such as housekeeping, secretary, security and even transporter. This situation has led to nurses spending periods of time at work without taking required breaks. This has lead nurses to become physically tired and experience burnout in their jobs.
In the second case an important part of a nurse’s responsibility is to interact with patients and their families while providing care to the patients. In this case, nurses need to understand that there are different cultural, social, and emotional aspect that goes with each individual patient. Keeping that in mind this would allow the nurse to carry out the appropriate care for the patient.
This process can be emotionally draining and over a period of time can take a toll on the nurses physiologically. Therefore the interaction with patients under their care leads to nurses experiencing emotional burnout and may lead to them to compromising their health status. Furthermore, Bogaert et al. (2017) indicate that nurses who associate their responsibility of helping other people at the expense of enjoyment in their work are likely to experience burnout compared to those who are passionate about the profession. These situation may have contributed to increased stress levels associated with the former case.
The nursing profession is founded in collaboration with other nurses and healthcare professionals in the healthcare setting. Since the nurse comes into contact with so many patients who has different personalities, interests, and values, conflict may arise. Bogaert et al (2017) explain that the work pressures related to teamwork in the nursing profession are one of the causes of stress among nurses. Such situations may lead to burnout in addition with the demanding nature of the job.
Another major cause of nursing burnout is the long 12 hour shift that they work. Most of the 12 hour shift are long because many times there is no one to relieve them. Battle et al (2018) states that“12 hour shifts lead to poor performance due to physiological strain, fatigue,burnout, and job dissatisfaction.” This can can have an impact on patient care and their safety. Multiple studies in U.S hospitals has shown that nurses can make many errors when working 12 hours shift. In addition 12 hour shift also cause more stress on the nurses because they can often miss out on important events while their children are growing up. Majority of the nurses who works 12 hour shift work full time.
When it comes to job satisfaction Bogaert et al. (2017) provides a direct relationship between nurses who have experienced burnout and the level of job satisfaction they achieve. In this case Bogaert et al. (2017) explain that nurses who are burned out tend to experience higher job dissatisfaction compared to those who are not in a similar position. This situation can cause high stress levels and the feeling of being emotionally and physically drained.
This ultimately leads to dissatisfaction among nurses while providing care to their patients. Another factor that can lead to job dissatisfaction according to Mudallal et al. (2017) is the lack of comparable benefits to those of white-collar employees. Job dissatisfaction have been linked to patient safety concerns due to the occurrence of medical errors. Patient dissatisfaction are also link to nurses staff who are also burnout. (Mudallal et al., 2017). If a nurse is tired or burn out he or she can not provide the proper care that is needed.
One thing that can be adopted to prevent burnout among nurses is to hire additional nursing staff. Adequate nursing staff can lead to a reduced workload on that individual nurse. A nurse who has a safe workload can have time to relax and regroup their psychological and emotional state. These are the things that can help prepare the nurse to carry out their expected duties to take care of the patient. Another strategy that can be helpful is the organization of frequent team meetings. This would help build team cohesiveness as well as improve communication among team members. The occurrence of conflict within the healthcare team will be reduced.