In overcrowded facilities across the country, nurses are working long hours and falling susceptible to nurse burnout. It is not necessarily the number of patients they treat but the long hours spent doing it that raise stress levels in nurses. In fact, a study done in Britain found that people who worked shifts longer than 10 hours had a 60 percent higher chance of developing heart disease.
Nurses typically work 12-hour shifts, and in some hospitals they are required to work overtime, turning an already long 12 hours into 16 hours or more. A Danish study mentioned in the New York Times found that stressed out nurses have a 50 percent increase in suffering a heart attack.
Whether or not a nurse welcomes long hours and overtime isn’t the issue. Some nurses handle long shifts better than others. The issue is the health and well-being of these vital members of society who need to be there and be healthy to take care of the rest of us. Read on to learn about five ways to start treating nurse burnout right now.
Classes and Counseling
To prevent nurse burnout in the first place, consider adding mandatory employee assistance programs that offer various classes on this topic. Making counseling available for nurses who find themselves suffering from nurse burnout will also help to treat it.
Adequate Rest Periods
According to American Sentinel University, the “best remedy for nurse burnout is to ensure staff has adequate rest periods.” When nurses are burned out, they may skip vital steps to get their workload done. The result is a higher rate of patients getting an infection while being treated for something else. To avoid nurse burnout, managers need to make sure that nurses get their scheduled days off and get regular breaks during shifts.
Nurses are in it together, and they need each other to vent. Create a safe space where buddies can talk about their stress levels and what they are doing to improve this area of their lives. By bringing these topics out into the open, medical facilities avoid low morale or even toxic, overstressed working environments in exchange for a pleasant working environment.
People, even nurses, love to be appreciated and recognized for their hard work. By creating a reward program that highlights these areas, nurses can feel a boost of accomplishment, even on a bad day. Rewards can include extra breaks or other incentives.
Nurses who are trained in the latest medical technology and procedures will be less stressed. They will be more confident in their jobs, which goes a long way when looking to reduce nurse burnout in the workplace. For this reason, offer professional development classes, specialty certifications and educational classes on a regular basis to improve workplace efficiency and lower stress levels.
READ MORE: A Complete Overview of Nurse Burnout
To determine your current level of well-being and/or burnout, take our Well-Being Index Self Assessment Questionnaire. It will ask you a series of questions that not only determine your state of well-being but also compares it to others. It can track any changes and can help to design resources that will assist you in addressing any questions or concerns about your current state of well-being. What are you waiting for? Take the test to embark on a journey of improved well being.