Home » How To Deal With Nurse Burnout

How To Deal With Nurse Burnout

Burnout can happen in any workplace environment and to employees in any industry, as no job is evergreen and without stress.

Conversely, in the cases of nursing and healthcare, burnout may be a reservoir of different negative impacts and adversely affect both employees and patients. Due to the most likely high-stress environment nurses are exposed to, they very often need to manage themselves for mental and physical wellness so as to stave off burnout.

This article is intended to analyze in detail, the phenomenon of nurse burnout: its causes, the danger, recognizing the manifestation of burnout at work while offering ways to avoid it.

What Is Nurse Burnout?

Nurses’ burnout is acknowledged as a syndrome caused by mental, physical and emotional fatigue that originates from high stress over extended periods of time and has got beyond their carrying capacity leaving nurses exhausted. Coming to work every day for long hours, dealing with the burden of having to think fast by doing the right thing for people in dire situations, and so forth are stressful and taxing. This, in the long run, makes one (medical professionals) feel jaded, hopeless, and, at extreme fatigue.

It is common for most to experience hard days at work or even weeks. Nurse burnout is another level of burnout, as it involves being in a constant state of distress that takes a toll on those who are affected. Nurses with burnout feel overextended, which often leads to them responding to their work with detachment and feeling a level of hopelessness and lacking efficiency. This loss of confidence and motivation can affect a nurse’s ability to feel good about their professional life as well as their personal.

Symptoms Of Nurse Burnout

As we entered mid-shift, nurses who work back-to-back shifts often complain of dreading their job because they feel that they are burned out and that they are being overextended and disrespected. There is a possibility that exposure to these stressors can be harmful to both a physical, emotional, and behavioral level over time.


  • Difficulty sleeping
  • More prone to illnesses
  • Anxiety and racing heart
  • Body aches and pains
  • Constant fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Increase or loss of appetite


  • Cynicism 
  • Feeling helpless 
  • Self-doubt
  • Dissatisfaction with life and career
  • Feeling detached
  • Depression
  • Apathetic towards others


  • Increased absences from work
  • Isolation and socially withdrawn
  • Poor decision-making
  • Substance abuse

Typical Causes Of Nurse Burnout

As per the word of world health organization (WHO) burn outs are a concept that comes up in the occupational field. However, it is not only this profession that is experiencing this challenge, other professions are too. 

Professionals in any industry can suffer from exhaustion which is mainly due to unrealistic work expectations and multiple stressors from work. People in the medical profession often face a much higher risk of burnout due to the high-stress work environment they deal with daily.

From having too many responsibilities, experiencing bullying or harassment from patients and doctors, a lack of benefits, to general anxieties over if they are doing the right things for patients; there are several contributing factors to what can cause nurse burnout. 

Long Hours and Heavy Workloads

The fact that they face the maximum stressful situations every working day makes the work of nurses almost impossible. That leaves them fatigued and prone to committing errors which may be dangerous or even lead to death.

Studies seem to be in consensus that longer nurses’ work hours directly affect patient satisfaction and ultimately more dissatisfied nurses who are less content with how they feel about themselves and their jobs are nearly an endemic issue.

Heavy workloads accompanied by long hours are detrimental to nurses being able to keep a work-life balance that prevents them from resting thoroughly and taking time for themselves.

Lack of Sleep

In any industry, chronic insomnia can lead to burnout. This is common among nursing professionals who work really long hours and with atypical work schedules. 

The deficiency of sleep floods the brain functions like making fine details and moving them as well. Due to sleep deprivation, the healthcare staff of the nursing department may develop obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, and cardiovascular diseases more quickly.

None of the patients is safe due to lack of sleep. Nurses who do not have quality sleep are endangering their health as well as the health of others.

High Stress

Some medical specialities are by nature more stressful than others, like intensive care or telemetry nurses that treat acute patient conditions. Nurses in these specialities regularly deal with patients who have traumatic injuries, ethical dilemmas, and higher mortality rates, and are all linked with high stress levels that increase the risk of experiencing burnout.

Lack of Support

Without a good team effort, burnout is much more likely for nurses.

In nursing, like in many other professions, collaboration is of vital importance, but in this field, it can become literally a life-saving measure. Insufficient information, no interaction, and even abusive acts from colleagues, all contribute to the undesirable work environment that is associated with industrial mistakes.

The Importance Of Preventing Nurse Burnout

While it is important to manage existing nurse burnout, the goal for all nurse leaders and healthcare organizations is to prevent it altogether. Distressed nurses who are experiencing burnout struggle to work efficiently on their own, with teams, and are less frequent to mentor other nurses. When nurses feel cynical or inefficient, they may show a lack of sensitivity or compassion towards their patients. Nurses with burnout may fail to personalize care which can make patients feel as though they are indifferent and uncaring.

The dangers of nurse burnout are:

  • Safety incidents
  • Poor nurse retention
  • Dissatisfied patients
  • Lower quality care
  • Overwhelmed nurses
  • Hospital mortalities

How Can You Prevent Nurse Burnout?

It is possible to prevent nurse burnout before it happens and should be treated immediately when it has surfaced. In case you work in medical institutions, the best way of preventing nurse burnout is by protecting employees and their patients. Nurse leaders and managers are able to prevent burnout, as well as nurses themselves by taking several therapeutic and preventative measures for their own self-care.

Improve Scheduling

Nurse supervisors should always work towards creating a humane schedule that their staff can work for, with shift lengths being 9 hours at maximum. If you happen to be a nurse, check whether the organizational leaders are leading with their heart or not, and whether your organization treats all of its nurses equally well.

Working overtime is not compulsory and may rob you of precious time for yourself and your loved ones. Thus choose a schedule that can afford you all the pleasures, time and freedom.

Seek Support

Through support groups and work buddy systems, you can find multiple options to vent your frustrations. Also, discuss conflicts or challenges as they happen.

When you and all the other members of your team have this kind of secure and healthy communication environment, this also leads to better cohesiveness, and your impression about the workplace as well. However if now you have started to come down with a quit mindset, depression and other burnout symptoms you need to see a counselor to teach you healthy coping mechanisms.

Change Specialties

If you are feeling the effects of burnout because of the stress from your specialty, in particular, consider a change. Your nursing degree enables you to switch to a specialty that can be a much better fit that allows you to have more freedom in your practice, or maybe mentor another generation of nurses. It’s vital for you, your fellow nurses, and patients to combat burnout, and to keep a safe, healthy, and productive work environment with healthy communication and collaboration.

Richard Smith

I am Richard Smith from the USA. I’m an Email Marketing Specialist. I have my own blogging site blogest.org. where people will get all Paid Campaigns and Email Marketing and blogging information. I like to encourage and motivate the new youth generation who want to learn Digital Marketing.

2 thoughts on “How To Deal With Nurse Burnout

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top