DiversityNursing Blog

Burnout in Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Oct 04, 2017 @ 11:24 AM

20170405_cover.jpgBurnout amongst Nurses isn't a new thing. In fact, it could be getting worse. With a combination of Nurses retiring and an influx of aging patients, this can become too much to handle and some will leave their profession.

According to Fierce Healthcare, several stressors lead to high levels of pressure and Nurse burnout.  These include:

  • High patient acuity (years ago, these patients would have been in the ICU)
  • High nurse-to-patient ratios (not acuity-based)
  • Multiple discharges and admissions (many nurses will discharge and admit an entire team of patients during their shift)
  • Lack of ancillary support and resources
  • Leaders who assume that nurses “can take one more patient”
  • Physicians who expect nurses to drop everything and attend to their needs
  • Interruptions while on their break
  • The expectation that nurses are all-giving.

A survey by travel nursing company RNnetwork, found that almost half of the Nurses they asked were considering leaving the profession. About a quarter said they felt overworked, 46 percent said their workloads had risen and 41 percent said they’d been harassed or bullied by managers or administrators. Making matters worse, with the aging of the baby boom generation, demand for health care is rising at the same time that large numbers of experienced Nurses are retiring.

Ashley Neuman, LPCC-S, one of Blazey’s colleagues in Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Enterprise, offered advice to caregivers during a 30-minute Wellness Connection presentation entitled “Managing Burnout in the Workplace: How Caregivers Cope.” She began with a definition of burnout, which can have three components:

  • Emotional Exhaustion – “Burnout can occur when you’re not just physically tired, but you are emotionally exhausted,” says Neuman. “It’s when you don’t have the motivation to get up, get moving and finish that one last clinical note. That emotional weight becomes heavier every day.”
  • Depersonalization – This happens when you have an unfeeling or impersonal response toward recipients of your service, care or instruction. “Nothing sparks passion or you don’t have that intrinsic motivation anymore,” she explains.
  • Dissatisfaction in Personal Achievements – Nurses who experience burnout may lack feelings of competence and achievement in their work. Neuman says, “You become a shell of yourself, losing interest in things you normally enjoy doing.” Maybe you dread going into a patient’s room or going home to make yet another dinner for your family.

Here are some tips that may help Nurses dealing with burnout.

1. Identify The best type of Nursing job for you

The field of Nursing is a large and diverse field. People in this profession might work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, office jobs, mobile units, private practices, home care, schools, the military, and even large public venues like amusement parks. And within the profession, there are medical specialties, such as pediatrics, cardiology, ophthalmology, geriatrics, and sports medicine. Spend some time figuring out what you like the most, and then focus your job search in this.

2. Search for workplaces with lower nurse-to-patient ratios

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) linked hospital Nurse staffing to nurse burnout and job dissatisfaction in their research on the topic of high Nurse turnover. "Nurses in hospitals with the highest patient-to-nurse ratios are more than twice as likely to experience job-related burnout and almost twice as likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs compared with Nurses in the hospitals with the lowest ratios," JAMA reported.  

The more patients Nurses are expected to care for in a given shift, the less time they have per patient. This can make the usually empathetic task of caring for patients feel more robotic, stressful and incomplete.

3. take care of your own body first

Most Nurses are inclined to take care of others first and worry about themselves later. But in order to be an effective nurse with a long career ahead of you, it’s critical that you take care of your own body. Be sure to make time in your life for adequate exercise, good nutrition, and restful sleep. Bring nutritious protein-packed foods during your breaks. And after a long day on your feet, don’t be afraid to just relax!

4.Learn to say “No.”

masmedicalstaffing.com says, For professionals in healthcare, it’s often our natural inclination to jump right in when someone asks for our help.

However, if you already have an overloaded schedule, your first concern should be to keep yourself healthy—otherwise, you won’t be able to take care of your patients properly.

So instead of always extending a helping hand, take a moment to consider whether you really have the time and energy to do so without adding a bunch of new Nurse stress-inducers to your day.

And if you can’t help out, say so firmly yet politely.

The next two tips are from www.travelnursesource.com

5. Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated

It’s not a secret that the food that you consume plays a big role in your mood and productivity. Increase your fruits and vegetable intake as well as whole grains and lean meat within your diet for an energy-boosting food palette. To increase productivity, eat food that is rich in fiber and carbohydrates. Stick to food with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce depression and lift your mood.

 6. Socialize

Having a support system is an integral part of a healthy mental and emotional state. Take some time from your busy schedule to socialize with your friends and family to take a break from your stressful environment. It’s scientifically proven that when we are more likely be happy when we are surrounded by the people who we love – that is why humans are a social creature.

What are some ways you prevent burnout in your life? Comment your thoughts below!

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Topics: Nurse burnout, burnout, nursing careeer

Use Informational Interviews To Move Your Career Forward

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Feb 03, 2017 @ 03:32 PM

career-advice2.jpgMaybe you’re not looking for a new job, maybe you are, or maybe you want to learn more and gain helpful insight and tips about your field. Perhaps you’re thinking about changing your specialty and if you are, do you need to go back to school? The best way to help you with your decision is with an informational interview. 

This article will tell you all you need to know about these interviews to help you get answers and information specific to you and your needs. An informational interview is just what it sounds like – an opportunity for you to learn whether a change is a good fit for you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Have you ever used an informational interview to move your nursing career forward? Did you know that informational interviews are a form of professional networking? 

When you’re seeking a position, doing research on a nursing specialty, vetting a potential employer, or looking to make valuable connections with other healthcare professionals, informational interviews are a vehicle to achieve your goals. 

What Is An Informational Interview? 

An informational interview is a process by which you request to meet with another professional to learn more about what they do, who they are, the organization they work for, or other valuable information. 

These meetings are not about directly asking for a job; however, they are indeed about you meeting with an individual who holds power, connection, influence, or knowledge to which you would like access. 

Informational interviews are best conducted in person, but telephone, Skype, or FaceTime are fine if meeting face-to-face isn’t possible. 

During such a meeting, you ask prepared questions in order to stimulate conversation while remaining open to new questions that may arise in response to your interviewee’s answers. 

Remember that although informational interviews are not actual job interviews, the act of helping an influential professional to learn how valuable you are can sometimes lead to surprising and unexpected outcomes.

How To Ask for An Informational Interview

Request an informational interview in writing, making your intentions very clear. Your introductory letter or email will be somewhat like a cover letter, yet it will not contain a request to be interviewed for a particular position. 

In your letter, briefly introduce yourself and give a very short synopsis of your nursing career. Explain your goals and the general information you’re seeking; you can even share your specific questions in advance. 

Be sure to inform your potential interviewee right away that you value their time, and offer a potential time limit for the conversation (for example, 30 minutes). If meeting at their workplace, ask to know what favorite treat and beverage you can bring from a nearby café; if you plan to meet at a café or restaurant, be very clear that you’ll be covering all costs. 

The Interview Itself

During the interview, be clear, concise, and well-prepared. Bring a notebook and pen, and be sure to have your resume and business card in case they’re requested. 

Be certain to smile, laugh, make eye contact, speak eloquently, and practice good listening skills and body language. Express gratitude at both the beginning and end of the meeting. Remember to show curiosity about your interviewee’s life and career, and ask for their professional mailing address and business card before you part ways. 

Once your questions have been answered, always ask your interviewee if there is any way in which you could be helpful to them, even if you think there isn’t; the offer is a way of showing a spirit of grateful reciprocity. 

Following Up

Always mail a handwritten thank you note within several days of the interview; an email is simply not sufficient. Also, connect with your interviewee on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. 

If your connection is a positive one, consider sending a holiday card each year, and check in by email from time to time. If a referral, introduction, or other lead bears positive results, write to inform them and reiterate your gratitude. 

An informational interview can be a powerful means to gathering information, receiving introductions, or opening up new opportunities; employ this underutilized networking strategy to stimulate your own career growth. 

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Topics: informational interviews, nursing careeer

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