Nursing Burnout on The Rise: Tips To Combat Fatigue
Nursing burnout is, according to the National Institutes of Health, an issue that affects healthcare providers’ energy levels and results in emotional exhaustion and reduced work efficiency. Unfortunately, as we continue to battle the coronavirus, many nurses, medical assistants, and other healthcare workers are having trouble escaping the mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion of burnout. Hospitals feel more like war zones, and our nation’s nurses are shouldering the burden of care for our sickest patients.
Here are some tips for nurses and other healthcare providers on how to fight back during these unprecedented times.
MASC Medical has discussed self-care strategies for healthcare workers before. But it is worth reiterating that treating yourself with a little TLC now will give you the energy to be the best provider you can be. Simple things, like keeping tabs on your weight, schedule, and overall physical health, will go a long way toward improving your emotional state.
As a healthcare provider, you have probably touted the benefits of nutrition more times than you can count. Well, now it is time to take your own advice. Prioritize eating whole foods, which give your body the nutrition it needs to function at its peak. When you can’t eat a full meal, keep a few supplements on hand to boost your vitamin intake. Keeping yourself healthy is one of the best things you can do when you are stressed and weary.
Take Time Off.
Americans woefully underutilize their paid vacation time. As a society, we have acclimated to believing that if we are not working, then we are not productive. But the truth is a bit muddier than that. According to Beth Howard, a contributor to Oprah Winfrey’s website, taking a vacation can reduce stress and lead to better sleep, which is crucial for high-stress employees in the medical field. If you can’t take a vacation because of staffing issues or an increased patient load, do at least ask for a schedule change. As Inc. explains, working too many hours is counterproductive at best and may lead to cardiovascular concerns.
As a healthcare professional, you know the importance of seeking assistance for accidents, injuries, and illnesses. But, in the hustle and bustle of the day, you may forget how crucial it is to take care of your mind as well. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, and seek the advice of a licensed counselor that can help you process the emotions of physical and emotional fatigue.
Signs of Burnout.
Nursing burnout is a serious problem that can result in a host of problems including high turnover and lower quality of care. Unsure if you’re experiencing nursing burnout? A few symptoms include:
- Chronic exhaustion
- Intolerance to changes to your schedule or patient load
- Calling in sick multiple times per month
- Lack of enthusiasm
If you notice any of these symptoms, ask for help as soon as possible. Unfortunately, all of the above, while natural reactions to stress and duress, are serious – and dismissible – issues in the healthcare industry.
Nursing fatigue is not the same as simple exhaustion. It is a serious concern that can have a major impact on not just you but your patients as well. Know the signs and take action before you grow to hate a job you love.
MASC Medical is a trusted healthcare staffing and physician recruitment firm. Visit their blog for other useful healthcare articles and resources.