Burnout Syndrome Among Nurses: Coping Strategies

Burnout Syndrome Among Nurses: Coping Strategies

Nurses work in a high-stress environment and burnout syndrome among nurses is getting to an alarming level.

Nurses need to address these turbulent times of physical, mental, and emotional strain we know as ‘burnout’ before it is too late.

A new study in the UK revealed that nurses are struggling with high levels of burnout and depression, and 28% of NHS nurses are quitting within three years, a 50% increase since 2013.

Health Europa stated nurses face sustained work-related stressors such as the pressure of quick decision-making, poor working environments, greater workloads, the threat of COVID-19 exposure, and risking their health and relatives. Furthermore, financial pressures, long shifts with little time to eat or drink, personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages, and deaths and sickness of patients and colleagues.

How can we help?

Here are 5 of the best coping strategies to help prevent burnout among nurses:

1.   Acknowledging the problem

Burnout syndrome is not new to the nursing profession, but it is a clinical phenomenon felt across all fields of nursing. It is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a low sense of personal achievement. Often, burnout is due to prolonged involvement in emotionally demanding and stressful situations. Nursing institutions should pay attention to the status of their nurses’ physical, mental, and emotional health to protect them against becoming ill, depressed, or apathetic.

2.   Identify what nursing area your candidates are passionate about

Experience-wise, knowing the specialisms of the candidates is vital in preventing burnout syndrome. It is a question we ask at the early stages of the recruitment process. Nursing has several different specialisms. Hence, it is a good strategy for nursing recruitment to identify which position the candidate will land depending on the area of specialism. Results show that there is less burnout rate if there is job satisfaction in the workplace.

3.   Provide professional support

If the workplace lacks a culture of good teamwork and collaboration practices, burnout may be more predominant. Poor teamwork makes a horrible work environment and can eventually lead to medical errors. Provide professional support to your nurses by giving them contacts in their field. For instance, offer stress management workshops. Let them know you care and that they have someone to talk to regarding their struggles. Likewise, try encouraging your nurses to join nursing networks. Positive nursing networks can make a difference and provide comfort and relief. It is a big help for them to have someone outside of work who can listen to their concerns and give them emotional support. Strong communication between colleagues and staff members can alleviate nursing burnout syndrome also.

4.   Provide a work-life balance

Work-life balance is essential in avoiding burnout syndrome among nurses. With long shifts and varying schedules, it is most challenging.

Here are the best practices in providing work-life balance in relation to burnout syndrome among nurses.

Keep an adequate staffing ratio.

The patient-nurse ratio in the workplace is another culprit of nurse burnout. The right number of nurses working to serve patient needs effectively lessens the chances of patient illnesses or injuries.

Encourage teamwork

Teamwork among nurses, physicians, and other clinical support team members makes the job easier and establishes a healing atmosphere for patients and their families.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is likewise significant while working. Nurse leaders must learn to set boundaries in the workplace. For example, encouraging nurses to take breaks. Nurse leaders should also learn to delegate workloads like covering too many coworkers’ shifts, taking on new tasks, or participating in research projects.

5.   Recognize Achievements

Giving meaningful recognition for a job well done, such as the sacrifice that nurses and other healthcare workers make, can boost resilience and stave off burnout. It is big support if the nursing recruitment continuously monitors their nurses on board and give recognition for every job well-done. The nursing recruitment agency should be part of every success of their nurses. 

My Healthcare Recruit supports UK healthcare employers in the public, private, and care sector to find international nurses who are a great fit for their organization, by using market-leading video interviewing tools to connect them to our database of qualified candidates. Our innovative approach makes international candidates easier to find and more cost-effective to source than ever before. Find out more at www.myhealthcarerecruit.com.

Photo credit: Cedric Fauntleroy