Avoiding the Detrimental Nursing Burnout

blog burnoutWe all have those days when we feel unappreciated and when the very thought of starting another day makes us want to stop before we even begin. Don’t let the unhappiness and detachment caused by burnout threaten your job, your relationships, and your health. Take hold of your life and learn the signs to recognize and avoid burnout before it happens! The nursing field is filled with ups and downs that you are not always able to control, but when you feel the nursing burnout blues approaching, you can regain your balance by reassessing priorities, making time for yourself, and seeking support.

What is burnout?

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet the constant demands that influence your daily activities. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.

Burnout may reduce your productivity and lowers your energy, often leaving you feeling helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.

You may be approaching burnout if:

  • Every day is a bad day.
  • Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy.
  • You’re exhausted all the time.
  • The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming.
  • You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated.

The difference between stress and burnout

Stress Burnout
Characterized by over engagement Characterized by disengagement
Emotions are over reactive Emotions are blunted
Produces urgency and hyperactivity Produces helplessness and hopelessness
Loss of energy Loss of motivation, ideas, and hope
Leads to anxiety disorders Leads to detachment and depression
Primary damage is physical Primary damage is emotional
May kill you prematurely May make life seem not worth living

Dealing with Burnout

Use the “Three R” Approach to dealing with burnout

  • Recognize– Watch for the warning signs of burnout
  • Reverse– Undo the damage by managing stress and seeking support
  • Resilience– Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health

For further information on how to recognize and avoid burnout utilize your EAP account provided to all Leaners by Nightingale College. If you need information on how to register for you free account please contact jlowe@nightingale.edu If you have never accessed your EAP account now is the time! It is a great resource offered to you.

Here is a video on how to register for the EAP website : http://screencast.com/t/7AsDbxNkJDAC

  1. Simply go to http://www.higheredeap.com/ to register for your account.
  2. Click Employee & Family Login
  3. Click Register here
  4. Enter Nightingale College as Employer
  5. Complete registration process

Here is a video on how to locate the free training on Recognizing and Avoiding Burnout: http://screencast.com/t/7QRG4TMa9yhl

  1. Sign in
  2. Go to Training Center tab
  3. Under the Personal Development tab click Recognizing and Avoiding Burnout
  4. Start training
References

Smith, M., M.A., Segal, J., Ph. D., & Segal, R., M.A. (2016, May). Preventing Burnout. Retrieved May 16, 2016, from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/preventing-burnout.htm