Burnout of Nurses Essay

One of the most serious issues in nursing, that can affect a nurses career is nursing burn- out.

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What is nursing burn-out?
Burnout occurs when a person does not have effective coping skills to deal with the demands of the work they are performing; it is also said to be chronic stress caused by the high demands of a job. Burnout has three dimensions that make it up, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment (Vargus, 2014). Some causes include long hours, not having enough or the proper equipment, having inadequate staffing and caring for demand

Doris Adu
Maximizing Opportunities and Maintaining Excitement in Nursing
Professional Development
Kent State University
Abstract
Staff nurses have great responsibilities in caring for patients. Often, these nurses experience heavy workload. Heavy patient load and stress contributes to burnout. Why is burnout important to discuss in relation to nurses? Burnout affects the performance of the nurse and the quality of care he or she provides to the patient. Therefore, it is imperative that staff nurses decrease the possibility of burnout and increase or maintain excitement and enjoyment in the field of nursing. If nurses do so, they will find joy in their work and quality of patient care will be increased. Contributors to burnout and…show more content…Burnout of Nurses Essay
The Ohio house bill 346 also protects nurses by providing laws on staffing. HB 346 “requires hospitals to establish staffing plans, with meaningful input from direct patient care nurses, which are consistent with the principles of safe staffing developed by the American Nurses Association and other nationally recognized organizations” (Ohio Nurses Association, 2011). The American Nurses Association as well as other nursing organizations should continue to advocate for nurses to work towards decreasing nursing workload and preventing burnout. Workload of the staff nurse can be heavy and in order to decrease stress and avoid burnout, nurses must learn to prioritize. Prioritization is a skill that nurses need to obtain to make the very best use of their time. It is also important because the better nurses can manage and use their time, the less stress they will have because they can do their job when they are supposed to do it. To manage time, nurses “need to create an environment supportive of time management and patient care

Nursing Burnout Sitting on my couch yesterday I was scrolling through my Facebook page, when I came across one of my girlfriend’s posts. It was an article written by an inner city emergency room (ER) nurse. The name of the article was, Madness: tales of an emergency room nurse and how I became a bitch. The article talked about the everyday work life of an emergency room nurse. I am an emergency room nurse and have never worked in any other department and this article hit close to home for me. The article talked about the emotional and physical abuse that only an ER nurse would understand. After reading the …show more content…Burnout of Nurses Essay
Burnout generally progresses over time. The term ‘burnt out’ is when a nurse progressively withdraws, and the ‘compassionately fatigued’ nurse attempts harder to meet the patient’s needs. Together they have the same outcome, it causes the nurses to feel like she is ‘running on empty’ (Najjar et al., 2009; Yoder, 2010).
Warning Signs For Five Concepts of Compassion Fatigue Nurses work in a healing profession that requires us to handle pain and distress, it is personal, behavioral, emotional, and spiritual experience. Nurses work on high levels of stress, and deal with suffering; these are some signs of physical and mental illness. Nurses are more successful and enjoy more professional satisfaction when we practice with empathy and compassion. Five concepts that can occur are physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, apathy, depression, and compulsive behaviors (Tunajek, 2006). A nurse developing any of these concepts can be considered warning signs that they are suffering from compassion fatigue.

Burnout Meaning
A burnout refers to a condition in which a person feels extremely tired, loses interest or gets frustrated at the workplace. Burnouts often results from prolonged stress. According to Newton, Handy and Fineman (2011), a burnout usually affects the level of performance of a person at the job. In the nursing profession, a burnout is usually associated with the stressful environments in which nurses work.Burnout of Nurses Essay

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How to Define Nursing Burnout?
Shirey (2010) defines nursing burnout as a prolonged depletion of energy that results from job-related stress that is yet to be fully relieved. He further asserts that nursing burnouts may lead to both mental and physical illnesses. Moreover, nursing burnouts usually occur when the physical and emotional stress of a nurse gets beyond his or her control.

Causes of Nursing Burnout
Nursing burnouts usually result from job related stress. Extreme levels of stress at the workplace may develop due to exposure to dangerous work environments, lack of professional, financial, social and economic support at the workplace, poor interpersonal relationships between employees and employers, low pay or delayed remittance of salaries and changes in shifts for work.Burnout of Nurses Essay

In addition, nursing burnout may be caused by prolonged working hours and increased workload. Nurses who work under a lot of pressure from fellow colleagues or physicians have also reported suffering from burnouts. A nurse may also suffer from burnout due to frustrations that result from differences between realities at the workplace and his or her expectations before employment in the medical industry. According to Shirey (2010), nurses often suffer from burnout when the levels of internal stressors exceed the ability to cope with or adapt to the stressful conditions or situation at work.

Symptoms of Nursing Burnout Include
The major symptoms of nursing burnout include

prolonged depression;
lack of adequate sleep (insomnia);
loss of appetite;
high blood pressure;
fevers and headaches;
increased irritability or agitation;
addiction to drugs such as alcohol.Burnout of Nurses Essay
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Additionally, patients suffering from nursing burnouts may also develop negative attitudes towards the job or nursing profession as a whole, workmates and other people such as family members who are around them. Patients of nursing burnout may also show lack of interest in doing the job or become emotionally detached from the workplace. Nurses suffering from burnouts may also have difficulties in concentration and lose focus at job. Maslach and Leiter (2011) assert that nurses who suffer from burnouts often become less productive at work.

Prevention of Nursing Burnout
Nursing burnout can be prevented through various strategies, which include development of coping and adaptive skills, developing high self-esteem, improving problem solving abilities and changing personal perception towards work-related challenges as well as developing high self-confidence.Burnout of Nurses Essay

Newton, Handy and Fineman (2011) advice that a nurse suffering from a burnout should also set realistic personal goals that are achievable, learn various mechanisms for coping with emotions and ensuring that he or she gets adequate relaxation. A nurse suffering burnout should also practice healthy lifestyles such as playing football, going to the gym or getting involved in other recreational activities with the aim of reducing stress levels. A patient of nursing burnout should also minimize stressors both at the workplace and at home.Burnout of Nurses Essay

Other Strategies for Reducing Nursing Burnout
Nursing burnout can also be reduced through creation of social support programs that help in reducing stress levels amongst nurses, for example, organizing social functions or meetings where nurses can meet and share ideas and experiences at their workplaces. Top management of healthcare institutions can also assist nurses suffering from burnout through provision of mentoring programs that would provide professional support to the nurses.Burnout of Nurses Essay

In my view, mentoring programs would help in boosting the morale of nurses as well as assisting them in professional development. Moreover, nurses may also be recognized and rewarded. This would help boost their self-esteems and work spirits. Nurses who achieve specific assignments should be praised and rewarded accordingly.

As Potter (2009) states, it is important for managers of healthcare institutions to provide supportive and healthy workplaces that reduce stress for nurses.

Last but not least, nurses suffering from burnouts should be given adequate guidance and counseling, for example, group classes for stress management techniques (SMT), psychological assistance and employee assistance programs (EAP). This would enable them to effectively cope with stress.Burnout of Nurses Essay

Conclusion
In conclusion, I would assert that nursing burnout often leads to poor performance at the workplace and professional dissatisfaction, hence should be avoided at all levels possible.

Burnout is a significant problem in the nursing profession, contributing to psychological distress,
job dissatisfaction, employee turnover, reduced quality of care, and increased healthcare costs.
Nursing students are exposed to many of the same stressors that are associated with burnout in
practicing nurses. The objective of this paper is to synthesize existing literature regarding the
influence of a walking program on burnout in nursing students. A literature search was
conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Scopus,Burnout of Nurses Essay
and Google Scholar. The following MeSH terms were included in the search: “Burnout,
professional,” “walking,” “personnel turnover,” “nurses,” and “costs and cost analysis.” Studies
provided evidence that a walking program could promote positive coping among nursing
students, reducing the likelihood of burnout. Further research is necessary to determine a
walking program’s specific effects on burnout in nursing students.
BURNOUT PREVENTION THROUGH WALKING 3
Burnout in Nursing Students
Professional burnout is an unfortunate situation experienced by many workers, and nurses
are no exception. Whether through personal experience or that of a colleague, most nurses are
familiar with burnout and its negative effects. Professional burnout, often simply referred to as
burnout, is defined as exhaustion due to interpersonal stressors in professional relationships at
the organizational level (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). While burnout can affect nurses of
all specialties and experience levels, novice nurses are particularly vulnerable. The strain of
learning in the field while lacking confidence in clinical knowledge and abilities has led some
nursing students to exhibit signs of professional burnout while still in training.
Identification of the Topic
Burnout among nurses has been well documented in the literature, while burnout among
nursing students has been studied to a lesser extent. As with any problem solving process,
information about what is known and what has yet to be identified is essential at the outset. An
overview of the history, definitions, contributing factors, and current management related to
burnout in the nursing profession, and more specifically, in nursing students, is summarized in
the proceeding paragraphs.
Historical Context. Staff burnout was initially described in the 1970s, when burnout
was observed to be associated with somatic symptoms, such as illness and poor sleep, as well as
behavioral symptoms, such as rigidity and negativity (Freudenberger, 1975). The topic of
burnout gained further attention in the 1980s with the advent of the Maslach Burnout Inventory.
A tool for assessing burnout among “people-workers”, the Maslach Burnout Inventory was
originally tested on nurses, social workers, physicians, police, and various other human service
professionals. It was found that working in a direct patient care role was associated with higher
BURNOUT PREVENTION THROUGH WALKING 4
levels of emotional exhaustion (Maslach & Jackson, 1981). Two decades later, a landmark study
brought serious attention to the problem of nursing burnout, highlighting its role in increased
patient mortality and increased costs to hospitals (Aitken, Clarke, Sloane, Sochalski, & Silber,
2002). Soon thereafter, a longitudinal study involving nursing students demonstrated that certain
personality characteristics were significantly associated with components of burnout (Deary,
Watson, & Hogston, 2003). Although several studies have been done in the last decade on
burnout in nursing students, many questions remain unanswered.
Definitions. Several terms relevant to the discussion of professional burnout may be
unfamiliar to the reader. Clarification of these terms will promote better understanding of the
subject matter. The definitions of terms related to professional burnout are listed below.
• Professional burnout. To reiterate, burnout is exhaustion due to interpersonal stressors
in professional relationships at the organizational level (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter,
2001). Burnout consists of three components: Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization,Burnout of Nurses Essay
and personal achievement (Maslach & Jackson, 1981). Throughout this paper, the terms
“professional burnout” and “burnout” are used interchangeably.
• Emotional exhaustion. One component of burnout, emotional exhaustion (EE) is a
measure of how one’s work may lend to feelings of being emotionally overextended due
to depletion of personal resources (Maslach & Jackson, 1981, Michalec et al., 2013).
• Depersonalization. A second component of burnout, depersonalization (DP) is a
measure of the tendency to see recipients of one’s care as objects instead of humans
(Maslach & Jackson, 1981, Michalec et al., 2013).
BURNOUT PREVENTION THROUGH WALKING 5
• Personal achievement. Personal achievement (PA) refers to feelings of competence,
achievement, and productivity in one’s work with people, and is another component of
burnout (Michalec et al., 2013).
Measurement of burnout. Burnout can be measured using the Maslach Burnout
Inventory (MBI). The MBI measures the three components of burnout: EE, DP, and PA.
Higher scores on the EE and DP subscales correspond with higher degrees of burnout (Maslach
& Jackson, 1981). Conversely, lower scores on the PA subscale are associated with burnout
(Maslach & Jackson, 1981). The MBI has served as a reliable tool for the measurement of
burnout for over 30 years, and has demonstrated high reliability and validity (Maslach &
Jackson, 1981).
Causes of burnout and factors contributing to burnout. There are many reasons why
nurses are predisposed to burnout. The caring nature of the nursing profession naturally lends
itself to potential for EE (Aycock & Boyle, 2009). The nurse-patient relationship often revolves
around the patient’s problems, and solutions for such problems are not always easily obtained
(Maslach & Jackson, 1981). Repeatedly being involved in situations where patients are
suffering, dying, or dealing with loss of functional capacity can take its toll on nurses over time.
Especially in certain areas of nursing, frustration and despair can frequently permeate the nursepatient relationship, leaving the nurse feeling “used up” at the end of the day. These types of
situations can lead to EE, one of the key components of burnout.
Once a nurse is emotionally exhausted, a sense of negativity can develop. With personal
resources depleted, the nurse may begin to display a cynical attitude. Often, this translates to
DP, the nurse’s failure to recognize and appreciate the patient’s humanness (Maslach & Jackson,
1981). A constant sense of negativity can cause nurses to feel unhappy about themselves and
BURNOUT PREVENTION THROUGH WALKING 6
their job role. They may fall into a thought pattern of rating themselves poorly, and experience a
lack of pride in their work (Maslach & Jackson, 1981). This describes the PA aspect of the
burnout triad.
Additional factors can play a role in the development of nurse burnout. Work
environment is one potential factor, as the demands of certain specialties may expose nurses to
repeated opportunities for EE (McHugh, Kutney-Lee, Cimiotti, Sloane, & Aiken, 2011).Burnout of Nurses Essay
Another potential factor in nursing burnout is workload, as each additional patient per nurse is
associated with a 23% increased risk of burnout (Aitken et al., 2002). Other factors include poor
support and resources, rapidly changing circumstances, difficult patients and their families,
relationships with physicians, low institutional commitment to nursing, and the delivery of poor
quality care (Chang, Hancock, Johnson, Daly, & Jackson, 2005). Unfortunately, the prevalence
of nurse bullying in some work environments continues to erode the sense of camaraderie that
nurses need to do their best work and avoid burnout (Hakojarvi, Salminen, & Suhonen, 2012).
Research has shown that novice nurses, with little experience to drawn upon, are at even higher
risk for burnout than experienced nurses. During the first three years of their career, roughly one
fifth of all nurses will find themselves “burned out” (Rudman & Gustavsson, 2011).
Stressors for nursing students. Nursing students must cope with some of the same
stressors as practicing nurses, and they have additional stressors as well. Fundamental to success
in nursing school is the commitment to long hours of study and an associated lack of free time,
which many students find stressful (Jones & Johnston, 1997). Nursing students report that the
engulfing demands of their nursing programs are physically debilitating, emotionally exhausting,
and an impediment to their personal relationships (Beck, 1995). Additionally, nursing students
often endure separation from home, financial worries, regular clinical and educational
BURNOUT PREVENTION THROUGH WALKING 7
assessment, and frequently changing clinical environments (Deary et al., 2003). Most nursing
students experience insecurity about their developing clinical skills, as well as their perceived
lack of practical skills that are so essential in the nursing field (Hamill, 1995). The increase in
nontraditional student enrollment ushers in more concerns about burnout, as students with
dependents frequently report disproportionate levels of stress (Gibbons, Dempster, & Moutray,
2008; Pryjmachuk & Richards, 2007). For a whole host of reasons, nursing students are prone to
burnout during their nursing programs.
Current management of burnout. Existing efforts to curb burnout in the nursing
profession are few. Addressing nurse workload, the state of California enacted a law that
mandated a 1:5 nurse to patient ratio for medical surgical units over a decade ago (Aitken et al.,
2002). Another strategy to reduce burnout in nurses is increased clinical supervision, which has
proven effective at lowering psychological distress (Hyrkas, 2005). Promotion of Problem
Based Learning has been shown to be effective at enhancing student empowerment and selfefficacy (Dunlap, 2005), which may be helpful in reducing burnout among the nursing student
population. Mindfulness meditation has proven effective at reducing stress in nursing students,
but encounters practicality issues as an intervention due to the need for professional training and
guidance to learn the practice (Kang, Choi, & Ryu, 2009; Shirey, 2007). Other suggestions to
reduce nurses’ stress include increasing support staff and providing more opportunities for
formal debriefing (LeSergent & Hanley, 2005). There is much room for improvement in the
current management of nursing burnout, as large scale attempts to tackle the problem have yet to
occur.
BURNOUT PREVENTION THROUGH WALKING 8
Significance of the Topic
Burnout in the nursing profession is a costly problem. While much attention has been
given to the detrimental effects of burnout on nurses and their careers, there are other aspects of
the problem worth examining. In terms of financial impact, a 2008 study indicated that nurse
turnover resulted in costs to hospitals of at least $82,000 per RN, a figure that has likely risen
since then due to inflation (Jones, 2008). While there are multiple factors involved in nurse
turnover, burnout is certainly a contributing factor because it relates to job dissatisfaction.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2014), more than 75% of
registered nurses believe the nursing shortage presents a major problem for the quality of their
work life, the quality of patient care, and the amount of time nurses can spend with patients.
Another study that linked burnout to hospital acquired infections (HAIs) found that hospitals in
which burnout was reduced by 30% had a total of 6,239 fewer infections, for an annual cost
savings of up to $68 million (Cimiotti, Aiken, Sloane, & Wu (2012). In keeping with the subject
of costs, Mark, Lindley, & Jones (2009) concluded that positive working conditions for nurses—
characterized by autonomy, participation in decision making, and relational coordination—do
not significantly increase total salary costs on nursing units. Addressing burnout in the nursing
profession makes sense not only from a business perspective, but also from a moral perspective.
A landmark study on burnout and nurse staffing found that patient mortality increased by 7%
with each additional patient per nurse (Aitken et al., 2002). Sadly, this study demonstrates that
problem of nurse burnout can be measured in human lives.
In consideration of the above facts and figures, interventions to curtail burnout must be
directed not only towards practicing nurses, but towards nursing students as well. Nursing
students are the future of nursing, and they will inherit the problems of today’s nurses, along
BURNOUT PREVENTION THROUGH WALKING 9
with new, unforeseen challenges. Burnout of Nurses Essay While in their formative period, nursing students are
introduced to a healthcare system that will “make or break” them. They will develop habits and
ways of coping in nursing school that will follow them throughout their careers. For example, it
is already known that nursing students show a decline in empathy as they advance in their
programs and have more interactions with patients (Ward, Cody, Schaal, & Hojat, 2012). This is
concerning as it relates to the DP component of burnout. Nursing schools should not only be
tasked with preparing nurses for safe practice, but also with helping them to arm their defenses
against burnout for a long, productive, fulfilling career in nursing.
Purpose of the Paper
The purpose of this paper is to synthesize existing literature to help answer the following
research question: In undergraduate nursing students, how does a walking program affect the
incidence of burnout during the course of a nursing program and beyond? While the
recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart
Association is for all healthy adults to engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for 30
minutes on five days each week, few Americans meet this goal (Haskell et al., 2007). A
sedentary lifestyle can have negative consequences for both physical and mental health. This
paper focuses on the concept of walking as a positive coping method to help nursing students
overcome distress that leads to burnout. A review of the current literature on this topic will be
presented, including a description of the search method, analysis of relationships, similarities,
and themes across studies, and discussion of theoretical frameworks among studies.
Additionally, this paper will examine the methodological strengths and limitations of studies, as
well as identify major gaps in the literature. Finally, implications of studies will be presented,
along with recommendations for future research.
BURNOUT PREVENTION THROUGH WALKING 10
Search Method
In order to gather information pertaining to the above PICOT question, a literature search
was conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,
Scopus, and Google Scholar. MeSH terms utilized in the PubMed search included: “Burnout,
professional,” “walking,” “personnel turnover,” “nurses,” and “costs and cost analysis.”
Additionally, the following general search terms were used in searches among other databases:
“Burnout,” “nursing students and stress,” “walking and stress,” and “walking program nursing
students.” Filters used to narrow the search for articles included: Human species, age adult 19+,
research articles, and English language. Generally, the time frame for articles was limited to 5-
10 years, with several exceptions, to allow for the inclusion of older articles with relevance to the
topic. Some articles were obtained indirectly through PubMed, in that they were found as
citations within articles obtained using PubMed, and sought out by other means. Burnout of Nurses Essay

 

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