3 Strategies to Avoid Nurse Burnout
Nurse burnout and patient safety are closely linked. It’s never been more important to preserve the mental well-being of our nurses.
Healthcare workers are the unsung heroes of our communities, selflessly attending to injuries, treating diseases, and working tirelessly to save lives.
Yet, despite their extensive training, specialized skills and remarkable stamina, they are still human and can be deeply affected by the demanding nature of their work. The We know the COVID-19 pandemic only amplified the intensity of their work, with healthcare workers dedicating countless hours and risking their own safety to care for those in need.
Behind the masks and scrubs, healthcare workers are people who experience the same emotions and challenges as anyone else. They often sacrifice time with their families and loved ones to be on the front lines of care, leaving them emotionally exhausted and physically drained. Despite their challenges, healthcare workers continue to show unwavering dedication and commitment to their patients.
However, with this dedication and selflessness, hospitals and healthcare systems need to be on the lookout for “nurse burnout,” also known as compassion fatigue.
What is Nurse Burnout?
Nurse burnout is a term used to describe the physical, emotional and mental exhaustion experienced by nurses as a result of prolonged and intense stress in their work environment.
It is a common issue in the healthcare industry, particularly in hospitals and other high-pressure healthcare settings, where nurses are required to work long hours, care for patients with complex medical conditions, and make critical decisions daily.
They are no longer engaged, they aren’t as communicative, they aren’t expressing teh same compassion and they aren’t willing to do more than they need to for the department or hospital’s benefit. They are only there for the patient care now.
The Link Between Nurse Burnout and Patient Safety
Deloitte’s Workplace Burnout Survey reveals that 91 percent of workers report that an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration can negatively affect the quality of their work. Additionally, 83 percent of respondents state that burnout from work can negatively impact their personal relationships.
Nurses are expected to remain composed and professional at all times, but burnout can make it challenging for them to stay focused, maintain a calm presence, and communicate effectively with patients. This can lead to a decline in the quality of patient care, thereby putting patients’ safety at risk. Therefore, addressing nurse burnout is crucial in ensuring the well-being of both healthcare professionals and patients.
How to Avoid Nurse Burnout
So, how do you ensure you provide your nursing staff with the support they need to avoid burnout? How can you target the relationship between nurse burnout and patient strategy.
Let’s break it down into three key strategies.
1. Proper Resources
The National Library of Medicine identifies supervisor support, proper and authentic management, transformational leadership, interpersonal relations, autonomy and professional resources as crucial job resources for nursing staff. These resources help nurses achieve their work goals and reduce the mental and physical demands of nursing.
Professional resources can be tangible, such as work equipment (medical equipment, computer access, a desk close to their patients), or intangible, such as access to necessary information (medical records, licenses and certifications, propriety technology/software). Addressing these resources at individual and organizational levels is crucial to properly supporting and retaining nursing talent.
Without the necessary resources for nurses, it makes it even more difficult for them to do their jobs, leading to a workover load, work-life interference, and ultimately, burnout.
2. Professional Development Opportunities
Regardless of your career path, professional development goals are necessary to enhance career growth, increase job satisfaction, improve job performance, keep up with industry trends, and meet organizational objectives.
Health organizations have a lot to juggle, from the intricacies of patient care to overall business strategy and budgeting. Sometimes employee development can fall by the wayside. While it is important to think of a high-level strategy, it is also essential to recognize how vital your nursing staff is to the overall operation of your organization. Providing professional development opportunities for nurses not only ensures that they are aligned with organizational goals but also contributes to their overall job satisfaction leading to nursing retention and overall improved patient care.
So, what are the essential professional development areas to focus on?
These include acquiring skills using advanced technology, refining bedside manners, learning a new skill set, obtaining certifications and training for a leadership position. While this might seem like a daunting list, even the slightest organizational change to support professional growth can make a significant impact on a nursing team.
3. Adequate Staffing
An adequate workforce is one of the most crucial elements that can either exacerbate or alleviate nursing burnout. As the country’s largest group of healthcare professionals, nurses have been feeling the strain of the pandemic since March of 2020.
Despite the American Nurse Association reporting a workforce of 4.3 million registered nurses, factors such as retiring nurses, heightened demand for healthcare and inadequate workforce support has only contributed to the nursing shortage problem.
Unfortunately, desperate times have called for desperate measures, leading to the rise of travel nurses. Although they serve their purpose by filling temporary positions, travel nurses tend to be extremely expensive . With less full-time nursing staff, organizations may find it challenging to build a supportive team that fosters a positive culture and offers sufficient coverage.
In contrast, investing in full-time nurses can result in greater cost savings, allowing organizations to channel their resources towards other essential areas such as certification programs, training, and equipment. These resources can help equip nurses with the tools they need to perform their jobs competently and feel supported in their work.
When an adequate number of nurses are available to care for patients, the workload is distributed more evenly, and each nurse can focus on providing high-quality care to their assigned patients without feeling overwhelmed.
Reduce Nurse Burnout with BrettonTrova
In order to build a supportive work environment and contribute to nursing satisfaction, it is important to partner with an employment service provider that acts as an extension of your team, helps build sustainable staffing models, and understands the relationship between nurse burnout and patient safety.
BrettonTrova is an end-to-end healthcare employment service provider that helps health organizations build sustainable staffing models and provides advisory services and educational support to nurses for career growth. With an emphasis on retention and career development, BrettonTrova transcends the typically-transactional staffing model to significantly reduce the impact of turnover and burnout.
Hospitals and home health organizations tap into BrettonTrova’s workforce solutions, including permanent placement, interim staffing, consulting and recruitment as a service (RaaS) to drive patient satisfaction scores, enhance the nurse experience and increase retention rates.
Set a new standard for healthcare employment. Contact us today to get started.