Nurse burnout is mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion caused by sustained work-related stressors.
Today's nurses don't just pass out medications. They multi-task. The long hours, pressure to make life-impacting decisions quickly, and strain of caring for patients who may have poor outcomes are just a few sources of nurse burnout.
Add in the stress of COVID-related protocols and illnesses, and nurses are multi-tasking under duress—from managing central lines to administered breathing treatments—and they may be at risk.
Better Nurse Staffing: Balancing time and juggling tasks
Burnout affects approximately 38% of nurses annually, which means almost 4 of 10 nurses will arrive at work dreading their shift. And exhaustion is not the only problem; nurse errors can create havoc for a facility.
Nurses and facilities alike benefit when they have a plan to combat nurse burnout that lets nurses:
Ask for sufficient time to administer medications.
Medication errors occur when nurses rush to meet increased work demands or administer medications for several patients simultaneously. Nurses need time to triple-check medications, scan armbands and check allergies. It's essential to allow nurses to reschedule other tasks or ask for help.
Write down stressors, then brainstorm at least one way to reduce each stressor —whether that's asking another nurse or a nurse manager for help.
Delegate where possible.
Even the most efficient nurse can be overwhelmed if they are multi-tasking plus doing tasks a subordinate can do. A nurse may also benefit from asking a friend or relative for help at home.
Set boundaries and put down the device
.Nurses can start their decompression periods by avoiding mobile phones or tablets at mealtimes or before bedtime and setting boundaries at work.
Engage in healthy activities.
Seven to eight hours of sleep, healthy foods, and exercise will all help to combat exhaustion.
Many health organizations offer employee assistance programs to access relaxation practices, assess stress, and provide daily strategies to relieve stress.
Practicing gratitude for the things in life that bring joy is a significant step to feeling better.
Last but not least, a nurse staffing app that delivers credentialed, on-demand nurses and aides in the fastest and easiest way possible can be a boon for an exhausted nurse. A simple-to-navigate staffing portal connects schedulers directly to ShiftMed's healthcare workers to ensure staffing nurses go smoothly for schedulers and nursing staff alike.