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In the US, 47% of nurses intended to quit their careers as of February 2021 because their work was having a detrimental impact on their health and wellness. In the coronavirus pandemic, the statistics are worse, with 6 out of 10 healthcare professionals indicating that the epidemic has had a detrimental effect on their mental health. Burnout is undoubtedly an unfortunate reality for nurses today.

Burnout in nurses has a number of detrimental effects. It not only affects their health but also the standard of care given to patients, raising the possibility of medical blunders. High turnover rates for healthcare facilities are partly a result of the emotional exhaustion that burnout causes.

What leads to burnout in nurses?

Several factors contribute to nurse burnout, some of which are as follows:

  • Workplace stressNurses, especially those who work in intensive care units and critical care units, frequently encounter stressful medical circumstances.
  • Inadequate sleepAccording to research, 67% of nurses said they had trouble sleeping, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sleep deprivation can have a detrimental impact on a nurse’s health and cause burnout.
  • Staffing issues In a survey, 83% of responding hospital and health system executives forecasted a lack of nursing staff. The demand on nurses who are currently employed is increased due to the shortage.
  • Long working hoursLong work shifts without any downtime are provided to nurses. Longer shifts are linked to increased levels of burnout, which is hard for nurses.
  • High percentage of patients to nursesThe likelihood of nurse burnout increases with the number of patients being handled by each nurse. A study found a link between medical errors and a high patient-to-nurse ratio.

Addressing nurse worries

To help nurses feel appreciated, leadership may identify, comprehend, and respond to their concerns. In order for leaders to attempt to address nurses’ burnout concerns, they must be encouraged to publicly express them.

This can be achieved by allowing nurses to express their concerns in person, at team meetings, or on an internal online forum. The ability for nurses to provide feedback after each shift allows leaders to track nurse complaints and spot any early indications of burnout.