At any given time, anyone can experience burnout – no one is completely immune.
Nurses can experience burnout because of sustained work-related stressors such as long hours, the pressure to make quick decisions, and the strain of caring for patients who may not have the best outcomes.
It’s a condition caused by unexplained chronic stress, and also can be accompanied by physical illness.
We’ll explain later how Nurses Now employees are less likely to suffer from burnout.
The Burnout Rate For Nurses
Over 58% of Aussie nurses report burnout, according to a Monash University survey (2016).
The majority (71%) say they often have more work to do than they can handle.
More recently, an annual global research survey on nurse shortages, carried out by the International College of Nursing (ICN) in March 2021, followed the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring COVID-19 a pandemic.
National Nursing Associations surveyed noted a dramatic increase in the number of nurses leaving the profession, and 90% of them said they are “somewhat or extremely concerned” that workloads, insufficient resources, burnout, and stress are contributing to the exodus.
Research on burnout exposure and the mental health of nurses and practitioners reveals widespread exhaustion with healthcare politics and red tape cited as a major contributor.
Participants confirmed that 97% of participating doctors and 99% of participating nurses felt exhausted at least once during their career, with most (88%) stating that COVID-19 exacerbated the exhaustion feeling.
A majority (58%) of Australian nurses and doctors who responded to the survey said that their job leaves them feeling burned out.
Working more than 40 hours per week raises the chances of feeling burnt out, but Australia ranks among the countries with the lowest average working hours. Twenty percent of nurses and 1-in-3 doctors report working more than 40 hours per week.
The Nurses Most Prone To Burnout
Burnout is lower among nurse practitioners than among registered nurses.
However, the highest rates of burnout are among critical care nurses. An emergency department (ED) and an intensive care unit (ICU) are critical care specialties.
How susceptible you are to burnout is dependent on a few key factors:
- Work and life imbalance
- Inadequate outside support systems
- Perfectionism — unrealistic expectations
- Over commitment
- Poor sleep quality and/or quantity, or
- Using unhealthy coping methods
Knowing The Signs: What Burnout Feels Like
A burnout sufferer may become too cynical to care for, or respect, other people and may label them in a demeaning way.
Nurses often experience burnout for the following reasons:
- Stressful, even dangerous work environments
- Lack of support or respectful relationships within the health care team
- Low pay scales
- Shift changes and long work hours
- Understaffing of healthcare sites/services
- The responsibility of providing high levels of care over long periods
- Frustration, disillusionment with the reality of the job not meeting your expectations.
Source: Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 9th edition. © 2009, Elsevier
Depersonalisation can occur when you consistently have a dispassionate or indifferent attitude towards your work. Often those experiencing depersonalisation are emotionally distancing themselves from all aspects of their work and life.
- A negative, callous, or cynical attitude towards colleagues or those you care for
- Criticising or judging patients and clients for their medical issues
- Unprofessional comments directed at colleagues or patients
- Lack of empathy, concern, and care.
How Do You Fix Burnout
Burnout is preventable when you identify it early.
And learning how to manage burnout also means you can prevent it.
That is why Nurses Now gives all its employees the flexibility to set their own hours, and we offer an excellent pay rate to help alleviate certain money worries you may have.
We specialise in offering placements and job opportunities that work for you, around your schedule.
If you’re after casual nursing shifts, a better work-life balance or more permanent placements in locations of your choosing, then come and register your interest with Nurses Now and take full advantage of the benefits we have to offer.
By joining us, you are choosing to partner with an experienced nurse employer that is able to provide you with employment opportunities with many of Australia’s leading healthcare organisations across their sites and services.
Here are some of the benefits Nurses Now offers you:
- Flexible work hours chosen by you to suit your lifestyle
- Online shift availability management through our intuitive Zoom App
- Competitive pay rates paid to you weekly
- Indemnity Insurance coverage provided by Nurses Now
- Ongoing staff and personal development education & training opportunities provided
Stress and burnout may be noticed by your family, friends and coworkers before you do.
Start the conversation by considering their concerns – this may help you obtain support.
A trusted professional can ease shame, stigmas, and fears regarding your health. There is no simple cure or preventive formula for burnout.
Making changes in your life begins with paying attention and taking control of your health.
Most nurses and midwives rely on a colleague or peer for permission to stop or do something differently.
Remember, if you are feeling stressed or pressured at work, and would like to chat to someone, you can call the confidential Nurse & Midwife Support line 24/7 on 1800 667 877.
The life of an agency nurse or support worker is one of variety and puts you in the driver’s seat. Contact Nurses Now to see how we can help you avoid burnout in your nursing career, and find out about roles available in your area within nursing and disability support.