Assignment week 3
Nurse burnout is the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion of a physician, according to the National Nurses United. Burnout is caused by several factors such a short staffing being the major cause and others including a monotonous job, inability to balance work and life and lack of social support. Burnout affects a nurse by dulling their emotions and undermining their motivation. This causes them to view their patients as just objects translating to poor healthcare (Tay, 2014). Some newly registered nurses may feel pressured too much and opt to quitting their jobs leading to lack of adequate skilled nurses (Kim, 2013). Dawn Kettinger, a spokesperson for the Michigan Nurses Association explains nursing as being exhausting, “it’s really stressful, you’re taking care of six people when you should take care of four.”
Burnout affects both the well-being of a nurse and that of his or her patient. According to the National Institute of Health of America, hospitals with high burnout rates tend to have lower patient satisfaction (Heard, 2013). It is linked to increased infections in patients according to a study from the American Journal of Infection Control.
Nurse burnout is closely associated with poor working conditions. Working as a nurse can prove to be stressful. The job is met with a lot of challenges some of which nurses may have not anticipated before starting(Kim, 2013).This leads to job frustrations among newly registered nurses that causes them to quit thus a nurse shortage.
These challenges include work overload. This mainly brought about by short staffing in healthcare institutions. Nurses are forced to work for long hours leading to great fatigue. They are called in for longer hours past their normal working time (Heard, 2013). Some even opt for longer working days where they work for a 12 hour shift in three days a week. According to the National Institute of Health, these longer hours can result in greater fatigue and increased chance of error.
Lack of motivation is also a factor leading to nurse burnout. Nurses may not receive acknowledgement for the hard work they have done thus leading to lack of motivation among individuals affecting their performance. A nurse may soon fail to understand his or her contribution thus opting to leave.
An institution may be suffering from poor leadership of nurses. Nurses may be having poor working relationships with each other and also the management. The management may also not be providing adequate supervision (Henry, 2014). All these boil down to creating a demoralizing environment in which one is working in.
A research by University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research determined that nurses in institutions with poor work environments are between 2 and 3 times as likely to show high emotional exhaustion and depression and intend to leave their jobs within the next year as compared to nurses with good working conditions.
Generally, newly registered nurses face job frustration when the work conditions they meet don’t match those they expected before starting work. When they find an environment that is not supportive then frustration and disappointment arise. This leads to loss of confidence and enthusiasm thus decreased productivity (Henry, 2014). It is not long before the nurses accumulate stress with mental and physical exhaustion causing burnout. Many leave their jobs after this causing a huge impairment on the number of skilled nurses available.
A Swiss study of burnout in 54 ICUs in 2014 links burnout to clinician safety perspectives and standardized mortality ratios. It established that level individual burnout scores was proportional to overall safety on standardized mortality ratios and length of stay. Individuals with higher burnout scores had poorer overall safety grades. Investigators established that the linkage between high burnout scores and poor safety standards was driven by lack of energy and motivation among nurses.
Nurse burnout leads to nurse shortage when nurses leave their jobs. According to the Michigan Nurses Association, short staffing is connected to higher infection rates, higher preventable falls and higher death rates (Tay, 2014). Also when burnout affects individuals in the institution then they become poor their jobs thus patients receive poor healthcare. This may even have adverse effects as death of patients.
The research by University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research also sought to find the effect of work environment on the odds of reporting high patient satisfaction. They established that poor working conditions for nurses reflected low patient satisfaction in healthcare institutions.
In conclusion clear that nurse burnout does indeed cause nurse shortages and patient dissatisfaction. It is advised to address the issue of poor working conditions for nurses to reverse the effects nurse burnout as this is the major cause of burnout among nurses. Nurses need to be motivated by creating a good working environment in order to reduce the rate of nurse turnover and also to increase patient satisfaction.
Henry, B. J. (2014). Nursing burnout interventions: What is being done?. Clinical journal of oncology nursing, 18(2), 211.
Heard, P. L., Hartman, S., & Bushardt, S. C. (2013). Rekindling the flame: Using mindfulness to end nursing burnout. Nursing management, 44(11), 24-29.
Tay, W. Y., Earnest, A., Tan, S. Y., & Ng, M. J. M. (2014). Prevalence of burnout among nurses in a community hospital in Singapore: a cross-sectional study. Proceedings of Singapore Healthcare, 23(2), 93-99.
Kim, S. Y., Kim, J. K., & Park, K. O. (2013). Path analysis for workplace incivility, empowerment, burnout, and organizational commitment of hospital nurses. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing Administration, 19(5), 555-564.