Erin Cresswell is one of the real-life examples of how a dream job can become a burnout. Erin Cresswell had been a nurse for more than two decades when she started to feel burned out. She loved her job and didn’t want to leave, but the emotional and physical exhaustion were taking their toll. She dreaded going to work and increasingly snapped at patients and colleagues. “I felt like I was failing at my job, even though I was working harder than ever,” she says.
Cresswell is far from alone. A recent study by the American Nurses Association found that nearly 60 percent of nurses surveyed reported feeling burned out. The problem is especially prevalent among those who work in hospitals: In a separate study, nearly half of all hospital nurses said they planned to leave their jobs within two years.
The causes of burnout are many and varied, but they often boil down to three main factors: excessive workloads, lack of control, and a lack of support from colleagues and supervisors. “Nurses are expected to do more with less, which takes a toll,” Cresswell says. “It’s hard to see patients suffer when you know there’s more you could be doing to help them.”
If you’re a nurse, chances are you’ve felt the effects. It’s no wonder, given the demanding nature of the job.
What is burnout, and how does it affect nurses?
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by working in a high-stress environment. Nurses are particularly susceptible to burnout because of the demanding nature of their job. The long hours, constant exposure to sick patients, and stressful situations can contribute to burnout. When nurses are burned out, they may feel angry, resentful, and like they are failing at their job. Burnout can also lead to physical exhaustion, making it difficult for nurses to do their job effectively.
Nurses are some of the most compassionate and hardworking people in the medical field. They see patients through every stage of their treatment, from diagnosis to recovery. They advocate for their patients and their families, providing support and guidance through what can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. It is no wonder that so many people choose to become nurses. However, the reality of the job can sometimes fall short of the ideal how a dream job can become burnout? Long hours, demanding work, and exposure to harrowing situations can lead to burnout for even the most dedicated nurse. With such high stakes, it is no wonder that so many nurses end up feeling like they are just going through the motions.
Why are so many nurses burned out?
There are several reasons why nurses may be more likely to experience burnout. First, the long hours and constant exposure to sick patients can be very draining, both emotionally and physically. Additionally, nurses are often on their feet for long periods of time, leading to physical exhaustion. And finally, the stress of the job can take its toll, both mentally and emotionally.
The signs of burnout and how to recognize them
The signs of burnout can vary from person to person, but there are some common symptoms that many nurses experience. These include feeling angry, resentful, and like you are failing at your job. Additionally, you may find yourself snapping at patients or colleagues or avoiding work altogether.
The consequences of burnout for nurses and their patients
If you’re a nurse struggling with burnout, it’s important to get help. Burnout can lead to some negative consequences, both for you and your patients. When nurses are burned out, they may make mistakes or be less able to provide quality care. Additionally, burnout can lead to physical exhaustion, making it difficult for nurses to do their job effectively. Burnout can also lead to depression and anxiety, making it difficult to cope with the job’s demands. If you’re struggling with burnout, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
How do prevent or reduce the risk of burnout?
There are many things that nurses can do to prevent or reduce the risk of burnout. First, it’s important to make sure that you’re physically and emotionally taking care of yourself. This means getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Additionally, it’s important to find ways to manage stress. This may include
Exercise makes you healthy and less stressed.
We all know that exercise is good for us, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time or motivation to get started. And when we’re feeling stressed, the last thing we want to do is add another item to our already full To-Do list.
But what if I told you that exercise could actually help relieve stress? It’s true! Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting and pain-relieving effects. And the more endorphins you have, the less stress you’ll feel.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, try getting moving! A brisk walk or a session at the gym can all help reduce stress and improve your overall health.
Meditation can help you focus and relax.
Meditation is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mental health. When you meditate, you focus on your breath and let go of all the thoughts swirling around in your head. This can help you feel calmer and focused.
There are many different ways to meditate, so find a method that works. You can meditate for just a few minutes each day or for longer periods of time if you have the time.
Reach out to friends and family
Talking to friends and family can help reduce stress.
When you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to reach out to your support system. Talking to friends and family can help you feel better and may even help you find solutions to your problems.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your friends or family about your stress, there are other options. You can reach out to a counselor or therapist or join a support group.
Take some time for yourself.
Doing something you enjoy can help reduce stress.
It’s important to make time for yourself, even when busy. Doing something you enjoy, such as reading, taking a bath, or going for a walk, can help reduce stress and improve your mood.
Find a balance between work and life.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to find a balance between work and life. This means taking time for yourself outside of work and ensuring that your work doesn’t take over your life.
It can be tough to find this balance, but it’s important to make an effort. When you have a healthy work-life balance, you’ll feel less stressed and more fulfilled.
Yoga can help you relax and reduce stress.
Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mental health. Yoga combines physical exercise with deep breathing and relaxation. This can help you feel more calm and relaxed.
There are many different types of yoga, so find a class that’s right for you. You can also practice yoga at home with a DVD or online video.
Massage can help you relax and reduce stress.
Massage is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mental health. In addition, massage therapy can help you feel more relaxed and ease muscle tension.
Find a therapist that’s right for you. You can also get a massage at home with a massage chair or handheld massager.
Journaling can help you process your thoughts and reduce stress.
Writing in a journal can be a great way to reduce stress and improve mental health. When you journal, you can release all the thoughts and feelings swirling around in your head. This can help you feel more calm and relaxed.
There are many different ways to journal, so find a method that works. For example, you can write in a traditional journal, or you can use an online journaling tool.
Listening to music
Listening to music can help you relax and reduce stress.
Listening to relaxing music can help you feel more calm and relaxed. There are many different genres of relaxing music, so find something that you enjoy. You can listen to music at home or on the go.
These are just a few of the many ways to reduce stress and improve your mental health. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, try one of these techniques and see how it helps. You deserve to feel calm and relaxed!
There are many different ways to reduce stress. Find what works for you and stick with it. With a little effort, you can make stress a thing of the past. Several resources are available to nurses struggling with burnout, and getting the help you need can make a big difference.
5. What to do if you are already experiencing burnout
If you are already experiencing burnout, there are things you can do to help yourself. you can address the burnout with the Three R approach as follows
- Recognize that you are experiencing burnout and what the warning signs are.
- Reverse the damage done by burnout by seeking support and managing stress.
- Build your resilience to stress by taking care of yourself.
Each of these steps will require time, effort, and perseverance, but it is possible to overcome burnout and return to a healthy, productive life. Also, try to
Change the way you are working.
If you are feeling burned out, it may be a sign that you are not in the right career or that you need to make some changes in your life. It is important to take the time to reflect on what you really want and need and make changes in your life that will support your well-being.
Taking a break can help you gain some perspective on your work and life, and it may give you the time you need to make some changes. If you decide that you want to leave your job, start planning your exit. Quitting your job without a plan can be stressful and may lead to further burnout. Make sure you have another job lined up, have money saved up, and have a support system in place before you quit your job. Burnout is not only physical and emotional exhaustion, it can also be a sign that you are not in the right career or that you need to make some changes in your life. It is important to take the time to reflect on what you really want and need and make changes in your life that will support your well-being.
Reflect on your priorities.
Don’t hesitate to say no
One way to prevent burnout is to take the time to reflect on your priorities and make sure that your work is in line with what is important to you. It does not heart much if you say “no” to requests if you are not doing work that is important to you. Make sure that the work you are doing is meaningful and fulfilling.
have technology-free time
Set some time each day where you completely disconnect from technology. Turn off your phone, laptop, and television, and spend some time doing something that is not work-related. This can be a great way to rejuvenate yourself and reduce stress.
Creativity can help you reduce stress.
If you are feeling burned out, try using your creative side to help you relax. Do something new, start a fun project, or resume a favorite hobby. Choose activities that have nothing to do with work or whatever is causing you stress. Creative activities can help you feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.
Have a healthy diet.
Minimize sugar and refined carbs.
You may crave sugary snacks or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these high-carbohydrate foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy.
Reduce your high intake of foods
that can adversely affect your moods, such as caffeine, unhealthy fats, and foods with chemical preservatives or hormones.
Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost.
The best sources are fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines), seaweed, flaxseed, and walnuts.
Smoking when you’re feeling stressed may seem calming, but nicotine can actually increase stress levels.
Get enough sleep
Aim for eight hours of sleep each night. When you’re tired, it’s tough to manage stress effectively.
Resources for nurses who are struggling with stress and burnout
If you’re a nurse struggling with stress or burnout, there are many resources available to help. The first step is to reach out for help. Talk to your supervisor, a trusted colleague, or a professional counselor. Several organizations offer support for nurses struggling with stress and burnout. These organizations can provide you with information and resources to help you cope. Finally, some books and articles can offer guidance and support.
Some websites that may be helpful for nurses who are struggling with stress and burnout are the American Nurses Association, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
Burnout is a serious problem for nurses, and it can harm both your career and your patients. If you’re struggling with burnout, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. With the right support, you can overcome burnout and find satisfaction in your career.