The word ‘nurse’ is synonymous with compassion. Nurses are hard-working, giving people who love what they do. But what happens when nurses are over-worked?
Nurses often experience nurse burnout, which is characterized by physical, mental, and emotional fatigue. Unlike stress, which causes over-engagement, burnout results in disinterest and disengagement in work and other parts of life.
Regina Corso Consulting conducted a national survey of over 250 registered nurses (RNs) who work in a hospital setting. They found that 93 percent of RNs were satisfied with their career choice. This is true, even though burnout is a common problem; the same number reported being physically or mentally tired at the end of typical shift.
This fatigue has consequences. Most nurses drive home drowsy after work, especially those who work the night shift. About 12 percent of all nurses, and 23 percent of night-shift nurses, have pulled over to rest while driving.
The reality is that tiredness can result in medical mistakes. Almost half of nurses worry that their patient care will suffer as a result of fatigue. Luckily, about 28 percent of nurses have called in sick to catch up on sleep.
Nurse burnout is most often the result of:
- Excessive workloads (60%)
- Not being able to take lunch or dinner breaks during a shift (42%)
- Not being able to take any breaks during a shift (41%)
- Not being able to get adequate sleep between shifts (25%)
Although some organizations offer wellness programs, it’s up to the nurse to find work-life balance. Sixty percent of nurses say that having more say in their shift schedules would improve their work-life balance and reduce nurse burnout.
At NurseRegistry, our nurses have the freedom to choose their own assignments and determine their schedule. By picking assignments that work best for their schedule, they can schedule enough time for breaks and adequate sleep between shifts. If you are a nurse looking for the freedom to choose your own schedule, learn about our job opportunities and apply online at NurseRegistry.com/Applicants.
Nurses inspire people every day; they are a unique workforce that is continuously inspiring themselves, too. We should all advocate for the health and well-being of our nurses, because they are an important part of every patient’s healthcare team.
Brooks, Megan. “Nurses Love What They Do but Battle Fatigue, Survey Shows.” Medscape, 9 May 2017, www.medscape.com/viewarticle/879761.
Ericksen, Kristina. “Nursing Burnout: Why It Happens & What to Do About It.” Rasmussen College, 1 June 2015, www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/nursing-burnout-why-it-happens-and-what-to-do-about-it/.