Rethink how you approach both your job and your downtime
Every job has its ebbs and flows. However, working as a travel nurse can put you in a unique tizzy.
The hospital environment demands decisions on the fly, sometimes at the very last minute. And the truth is, as nurses, we literally work around life and death.
The latter can trigger your mental and physical exhaustion and cause nurse burnout.
This article discusses nurse burnout, its symptoms, and how to manage it during work hours.
What is nurse burnout?
Working in a highly stressed atmosphere puts you under physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion.
This can be referred to as nurse burnout.
It can be due to taking long shifts many days in a row, making rapid decisions in a pressure situation, or providing care to patients with adverse outcomes. Once you’ve nursed under these circumstances, you tend to feel detached or disoriented.
The latter is perceived as the initial alarming sign of nurse burnout.
Nursing burnout can cause hopelessness, pessimism, and even depression if you don’t manage your condition with good self-care. Additionally, the cases of nursing burnout are increasing post-Covid-19 pandemic. A study shows that 54% of nurses working in US healthcare facilities reported symptoms of nurse burnout due to their jobs.
What are the symptoms of nurse burnout?
According to the World Health Organization, the symptoms of nurse burnout are as follows:
- Reduced productivity at work
- Feeling exhausted mentally or physically
- Being pessimistic about nursing
- Unable to fulfill your job requirements
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, take prompt action to manage them; otherwise, it can harm your overall well-being.
What causes nurse burnout?
Multiple factors can cause nurse burnout.
Some of them are:
Inability to sleep
Chronic lack of sleep is a significant risk of developing nurse burnout.
You’re more likely to miss your sleeping hours if you take late-night nursing shifts or work consecutive days. Moreover, a recent survey also showed that 25% of nurses who work long and multiple shifts cannot sleep properly.
This all makes you more prone to nurse burnout.
Some nursing specialties are more stressful than others.
Well, let me rephrase that. As an RN myself, I know that each area has its own type of stress. Critical care areas bring unique stress, and med-surg does as well.
For instance, working in an oncology ward, you must care for serious patients with life-threatening conditions and a potentially high death rate. It is also linked to high-stress levels, increasing your chance of burning out.
The bottom line is the work we do is not work the average person does.
If your workplace lacks constructive teamwork and collaboration practice, your chances of burning out are escalated.
You know what I mean. Sometimes there are shifts or even assignments where you feel all alone. Totally unsupported. This could be a single shift here or there, but if this is the overall feeling in your workplace, that’s not healthy.
When you’re constantly being pushed to do more with less or given unrealistic expectations, it can lead to nurse burnout.
How to Manage Nurse Burnout?
Follow these tips to prevent nursing burnout:
1. Get enough sleep
2. Eat healthy and exercise
3. Take breaks
4. Find a support system
5. Set boundaries
6. Seek professional help when needed
7. Be positive
8. Manage your time wisely
9. Know your worth
10. Practice self-compassion
The final word
Nurse burnout is a real problem and will only worsen if we don’t take action.
This article provides information on the causes of nurse burnout, its symptoms, and how to manage them. If you’re experiencing any of these signs, please take prompt action to address them; otherwise, it can harm your overall well-being.
And remember to take care of yourself. You’re worth it.
To learn more about the travel nursing opportunity and cities across the country, visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.