About 10 years ago, Elizabeth Scala was a young RN, working on a psychiatric floor of a busy Maryland hospital. She’d been in the role for two or three years, and she’d risen to a position of authority, coordinating her colleagues’ activities as a charge nurse on the unit. From the outside, it looked like she had everything together, but inside she was so stressed out she was nearly falling apart.
“It was like Jekyll and Hyde,” Scala said.
When she got off work, she said, she would go home and pick vicious fights with her boyfriend. She wasn’t sleeping or eating well. She was constantly furious with her co-workers and supervisors. She remembers throwing a temper tantrum one night, flailing around on her bed like a 4-year-old.
Then the situation began affecting her ability to do her job.
“Eventually I just started to really resent going into work — dreaded going in — and actually didn’t want to talk much with the patients,” she said.
Scala finally quit nursing and wrote a book called “Stop Nurse Burnout“, a guidebook for Nurses who feel like she once did. And there’s a lot of those nurses in the system.
In a survey by Travel Nursing company RNnetwork earlier this year the following came to light:
- 49.8% of Nurses was considering leaving the profession
- 27% of respondents felt overworked
- 16% don’t enjoy their job anymore
- 15% felt they were spending too much time on Paperwork
- 43% of Nurses said their workplace don’t support a healthy work/life balance
- 45% are taking on extra jobs to boost their income.
Ironically, as nurses ponder leaving the profession, the USA is staring down a major shortage in nurses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1.2 million vacancies will open up for registered nurses between 2014 and 2022. Meanwhile, 64 percent of respondents say a potential answer to the shortage is using travel nursing to fill staffing gaps.
“It is absolutely concerning, given that we currently don’t have enough nurses in the workforce,” said Seun Ross, a former intensive-care nurse who is now director of nursing practice and work environment at the American Nurses Association, the nation’s largest professional organization for registered nurses.
Ross said the problem of burnout goes beyond the issue of nurses leaving their jobs. By definition, nurses who are burned out have gone beyond stressed to the point where they can no longer function well at work.
“Nurse burnout really means that a nurse is now disengaged from her work, which is completely different from being stressed out,” she said. “A burnt-out nurse doesn’t care. She’s cynical. She’s irritable. She’s angry. She’s running out of the hospital before the end of her shift.“
There is a strong correlation between patient staffing ratios and Nurse Burnout and for that reason, the National Nurses United Union are pushing for mandated nurse-staffing ratios, which ensure that each nurse has a limit on the number of patients he or she is responsible for.
So if you are like:
- “I’m not sure I can go on like this for much longer!”
- “There is no one I can talk to—no one who would understand!”
- “This is crazy…am I crazy?”
Just know that you are not alone, there are plenty of other Nurses that feel the same way and there are things that you can do to help you get through it and avert “Nurse Burnout”. In her Book Stop Nurse Burnout Elizabeth Scala discusses the following:
~ Nurse burnout symptoms, effects, and complications
~ Nurse burnout pathophysiology and four main causes
~ How to bypass the invisible nurse “Mind Trash” that gets in the way of your recovery from nurse burnout
~ The three-step process to ensure you are always building a more ideal career
~ 14 proven burnout prevention techniques and FREE access to an additional 8 techniques on our Power Tools webpage—a private resource library only for book purchasers like you
~ How to know when it is time to quit this job and conduct a nurse job search
~ How to know when it is time to actually retire and how to do that will skill and grace
~ Three case studies of real nurses and the way they put these burnout prevention tools to use
If you feel like you are heading for disaster because of your job stress, go and have a look at Elizabeth’s book on this link: http://amzn.to/2y2BqrN
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