Nurses’ Burnout

CPD Hours: 1
Current as at 19 October 2021
Burnout is a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job, defined by the three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy.

Tags:

“The Influence of Leader Empowering Behaviours, Work Conditions, and Demographic Traits”

Course Content

Burnout is a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job, defined by the three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy.

Burnout is a consequence of ineffectively coping with lasting stressful events within the workplace. It can be triggered by several events, including excessive workload, inadequate social and professional recognition, lack of feedback, and contrast between personal values and organization needs.

Burnout results in 2 of 13 non-specific (e.g., fatigue, apathy, and insomnia), physical (e.g., tachycardia, headache, nausea, and muscle pain), and psychological (e.g., guilt, anger, isolation, indifference, cynicism) consequences.

When prolonged, this psycho-physical discomfort can present as absenteeism, decreased work performance, and workplace or professional abandonment.

Research identifies three main symptoms that characterize burnout that can be measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). These symptoms are:

  • emotional exhaustion
  • depersonalization, and
  • lack of personal accomplishment.

Recent studies revealed a correlation between burnout and patient outcomes: when burnout decreases, patients’ outcomes improve. In workplaces where burnout levels are high, there is an increased turnover of professionals.

Nurses’ burnout has been studied in several clinical settings, with different results being reported. Several nursing research studies indicated that authentic leadership had a positive impact on clinical nurses, patient care, and the workplace environment. Research has long advocated for a new level of nursing leadership and recommends that efforts be made to expand opportunities for nurses to lead in collaborative improvement efforts.

The literature is full of leadership models and calls for future nurse leader development.

In this article, the researchers recommend that nurse leaders can positively impact the work environment to promote job satisfaction and nurse intent to stay by providing mentor support and promotional opportunities while role modelling organizational commitment.

Learning Outcomes

In this session, you will:

  • Understand what causes nurses’ burnout
  • Explore how to define nurses’ burnout
  • Gain an understanding of nurse empowerment
  • Review suggestions for further research needed in this area
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