The World Health Organization has finally recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon, not a medical condition.
Most working professionals are stressed and feel overworked. They may find that their workplace is not being successfully managed in a way that reduces stress and improves employee satisfaction.
Burnout can affect a person’s physical and mental health. Medical professionals—such as doctors—are roughly twice as likely to have burnout compared to other types of professionals. These professionals are more likely to experience burnout because of the sheer number of hours they work and the pressure they experience in their careers. Unfortunately, doctors and other people who experience burnout are known to make more errors, submit lower quality work, and may leave patients or coworkers dissatisfied.
Burnout has also been linked to a tremendous amount of government spending. Researchers calculated that the U.S spends nearly $5 billion every year on costs associated with burnout. This spending comes from employee turnover, hiring costs, and training costs.
Costs will rise if the demand for specific professionals increases. This would be the case if physicians are needed and there is a shortage of workers to fill that position.
Currently, there is a shortage of nursing professionals. When medical facilities are short on nursing staff, current employees have to take on more duties and responsibilities to keep things running smoothly. This can place extra stress on current employees.
For doctor’s offices, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and other medical centers facing a shortage of nursing staff, NurseRegistry offers staffing solutions. NurseRegistry has RNs (Registered Nurses), LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurses), and Surgical Technologists on call and ready to work. When you call NurseRegistry, we will match you with a nurse that has the skills necessary to smoothly transition into your workplace. (If you’re a nurse interested in working with NurseRegistry, you can view our job openings and apply online.)
What Causes Burnout?
Burnout can result from a variety of personal and professional factors, such as:
Work-life imbalance. It is possible to get burned out in a short period of time when your personal life and work do not align in the ways you would like. If work takes up so much time that you don’t have the time or energy to spend with family, you could develop burnout.
Lack of control. If an individual doesn’t have a say in decisions that affect their job position like schedule, workload, or tasks, they may be more likely to feel burnout.
Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. There could be a multitude of reasons a workplace is not running smoothly. Some managers may micromanage their employees, creating a more stressful environment. There may be one team member who is an ‘office bully,’ or there may be colleagues that try to undermine your work. These situations, and more, can all lead to burnout.
Symptoms of Burnout
As mentioned earlier, burnout can negatively impact both our physical and emotional health. Symptoms include:
Exhaustion or energy depletion. Lack of energy to be consistently productive.
Negative feelings related to the workplace. Increase in the mental distance from one’s job.
Reduction in professional efficacy. Reduced perceptions of accomplishments and abilities. (People may also feel their work is not producing a desirable result.)
Can Burnout Be Prevented?
The good news is that burnout can be prevented, on both a corporate and personal level. Here are some of the top ways to prevent burnout:
Find support. Reach out to coworkers, family, or friends for advice and to talk about solutions. Many employers offer an employee assistance program which offers numerous helpful services to individuals with burnout.
Evaluate your options. It can be beneficial to speak to a manager or supervisor about your specific concerns. Oftentimes they will work with you to reach a compromise or solution. Write things down and set goals for what can wait and what needs to get done.
Individuals are working more hours in recent times to support themselves and their families. The cost of living is quite high—particularly in the Bay Area—and some people are forced to work long hours or multiple jobs.
While burnout affects individuals in different professions, nurses and medical professionals do experience higher than average levels of burnout. If you are a nurse experiencing burnout, learn more about specific tips for success here.
If you are the caregiver of a loved one, you may be experiencing high levels of burnout as well. It can be physically and emotionally demanding to care for a loved one, especially when you’re providing care in addition to working 9 to 5 and taking care of your own family. For more information on caregiver burnout, read our blog post on caregiving here. If you could benefit from an extra hand, NurseRegistry matches clients with nurses for care at home, including respite care.
As mentioned earlier in this post, if you work in a medical facility that is understaffed, call NurseRegistry. We offer RNs and LVNs on a per diem or long-term basis. Call today to discuss your staffing needs, and we’ll create a solution that fits your facility.
The World Health Organization offers more references for individuals with burnout.
JAMA Network offers research and data analysis about burnout.