Burnout Among Healthcare Workers
Being a healthcare worker is both a gratifying yet challenging role. The healthcare industry is stressful, emotionally draining, and physically exhausting. When this happens, healthcare workers are prone to burnout. They begin to lose not only drive but also efficacy in work, potentially reducing the safety and quality of care provided to patients.
Burnout is a recurring issue experienced by healthcare workers, especially during these times. Burnout among healthcare workers can be due to: working long hours, demanding workloads, and the stress of being exposed to loss of life. Recognizing burnout early can help prevent it from decreasing the quality of care provided to patients.
What is burnout?
According to a journal, burnout is a chronic psychological strain manifesting as emotional exhaustion, low self-efficacy, and cynicism.
Healthcare workers face a wide range of psychosocial stressors on a daily basis, putting them at high risk of developing burnout. Other people also experience burnout, but the burden is heavier among healthcare workers.
Burnout among healthcare workers is a prevalent issue – over half of them report experiencing burnout, a rate double than of any other profession. Burnout is reported in up to 69% of residents and 43% of nurses.
Signs of burnout – how would you know?
Burnout is often a missed and overlooked diagnosis, as it resembles general stress and anxiety. It is important to identify symptoms of burnout early, so check out if you are experiencing the following:
You get tired easily
The workload is often disproportionate to the number of staff, leading to healthcare workers assuming more work than they should. Additionally, because of this pandemic, burnout among healthcare workers is rising from working longer hours now.
You tend to forget something quickly
Aside from physical exhaustion, burnout among healthcare workers can also manifest as mental exhaustion, which can manifest as forgetfulness or inability to recall things quickly. This can be a telltale sign that burnout is worse than it looks.
You often think about negative things
Burnout among healthcare workers can often make them feel like the world is against them. Oftentimes they only think about how plenty their problems are, forgetting about the good things that happen. Burnout pushes people to see the glass as half-empty, instead of half-full.
You isolate yourself
Personal space is one thing, but isolating yourself from the rest of your co-workers is another. People who are burned out tend to withdraw from any social engagement. Small talk and break times do not spark their interest anymore.
You easily get irritated
One of the earliest signs of burnout is irritability. Being cranky is a classic burnout symptom that can put everyone in the team in a bad mood.
You perform poorly
Healthcare workers experiencing burnout do not perform their jobs as well as they previously did. They are distracted and cannot do their jobs properly. Poor work performance can be detrimental in providing patient care.
Overall, burnout among healthcare workers generally manifests as not wanting to be at work or working very poorly. It is important to spot these signs in yourself or other co-workers.
How Can You Prevent Burnout?
1. Allot time to care for yourself
Good self-care will increase your tolerance for burnout. Relax in a warm bath or shower and light up some scented candles to calm yourself.
2. Keep yourself healthy
No matter how busy work can get, remember to eat a balanced, healthy diet. Try to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise daily.
3. Get enough sleep
Work hours may seem longer and erratic, but a key to staying positive at work is to get a good night’s sleep. According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep daily.
4. Adopt Coping Strategies
Positive coping strategies such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can all help elevate your mind flow. These can help minimize stress and conflict brought about by work.
Seeking Professional Help
Despite following these efforts and you still feel that you are experiencing burnout, seek help. Seeing a therapist can help you face your stressors and put you in the right perspective.
Here at Mindshift Wellness Center, we will help you successfully process your emotions and thoughts and aid you towards achieving a healthy work-life balance. Schedule an appointment in areas near me and get the best services in the area. Worried you do not have time to seek face-to-face therapy? Our Teletherapy service works perfect for you! Visit any of the branches near me in California by Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Corona. Also see branches located in Southern California – Century City, Costa Mesa, and Brentwood.
The healthcare industry can be demanding. Patients’ lives are in your hands and the quality of care they receive depends on your attitude towards work. Keep your physical and mental health in check all the time.