10 Easy Tips and Strategies to Deal with Nurse Burnout

Long working hours, stressful working conditions, and a higher workload have made nurse burnout a very common phenomenon. Burnout among nurses was very common before the pandemic also, but the pandemic made it worse.

As of a 2017, Kronos study, 63% of nurses claimed that they are suffering from burnout. 

Burnout is the main cause of reduced productivity and the inability of nurses to 

treat patients. Burnout nurses lack compassion toward their patients which results in unsatisfied patients.

Burnout nurses are not safe for either hospitals or patients, their inability to treat the patients impacts patients and hospitals negatively. 

Preventing nurse burnout is the combined efforts of hospitals as well as nurses.

In this blog, we are going to discuss 10 tips and strategies to deal with nurse burnout that will help nurses to prevent and solve burnout issues. But before that let’s discuss some factors responsible for burnout.

In this article, we will explore

Factors responsible for nurse burnout

1) Long working hours

2) Lack of sleep

3) Lack of support

Nurse Burnout Solutions Ways

1) Practice mindfulness and breathing techniques

2) Engage in health activities

3) Set boundaries

4) take breaks

5) seek support

6) Be positive

7) Be emotionally stable

8) Consider changing career

9) Access private measure at work

10) Learn compartmentalization

Factors responsible for nurse burnout

The key to finding the solutions to nurse burnout is recognizing the factors responsible for nurse burnout. In order to provide the best patient care nurses fail to recognize these factors and suffer from stress and burnout issues.

Let’s discover these factors in brief.

1) Long working hours

The prevalence of increased numbers of baby boomers, and the increased amount of chronic disease have increased the demand for nurses. But sadly due to many reasons, hospitals have not been able to keep up with this increased demand for nurses. Due to this available nurses have to work for longer hours, and sometimes they have to double shifts which has increased their likelihood of experiencing burnout.

 2) Lack of sleep

Lack of proper sleep is one of the major contributing factors for professional burnout in many industries including nursing. Long working hours and covering two consecutive shifts result in sleep deprivation for nurses. As per one report, in 2018, 25% of nurses reported that they don’t get enough sleep between their work shifts.

3) Lack of support

One of the major reasons for nurse burnout is lack of support at the workplace. Nurses are likely to experience burnout when there are conflict, poor communication, lack of support, lack of cooperation, and peers bullying at the workplace. 

These factors result in a poor workplace environment and cause nurse burnout and even medical errors.

 Nurse Burnout Solutions

Leaving a job or nursing profession is not the solution to nurse burnout. Sometimes, you have to figure out things that cause you burnout and are under your control. For example a poor work environment, an increased number of patients, and staff turnover are factors that are not under your control.  

But things like setting up the boundaries between work life and personal life, saying no to double shifts, and taking breaks are the things you can control and you should focus on them to keep the burnout at bay.

Let’s see some of the nurse burnout solutions and see which factors you can take charge of and work upon to keep the burnout as minimum as possible.

1) Practice mindfulness and breathing techniques

Whenever things go wrong, whenever anxiety or stress hits you just start mindful breath-in and breathe out. This mindful breathing helps you to stay calm, cool, and collected.

This technique helps in promoting self-compassion, a positive reaction to stress, and increased empathy among nurses. 

Along with the breathing technique you can try other mindful techniques to stay calm, namely

1) Pay attention: Stop overthinking when things go wrong, pay attention, actively listen, and focus on what is in front of you.

2) Live in the moment: Worrying about the past or future will steal your peace and divert you from the present.

3) Body scan: This is one of the best techniques to come back from imagination to the present. Scanning your body from top to bottom helps you to remain in the present work and in managing nurse burnout at work.

4) Abdominal breathing: Take deep breaths from your nose to your abdomen to keep calm and regain the present

2) Engage in healthy activities

When stress is part of your daily routine, engaging in some healthy activities and self-care activities will help you to prevent burnout. You can start as small as

Maintaining a nutritious diet: Avoid indulging in overeating in response to stress, and have healthy food and proper hydration to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Exercising:  Regular exercising is one of the best nurse burnout solutions.

Exercise releases the endorphins hormones in your body, which is the happy hormone. This helps you to release stress and prevent stress and burnout.

Relaxing and Meditation: Spare some time for meditation and get relaxed. Meditation will help you maintain your sanity in tough times, boost your confidence and improve your emotional intelligence.

3) Set Boundaries

Setting some boundaries is a must for managing nurse burnout at work. This includes not thinking or worrying about the work after leaving the hospital, saying no to extracurricular activities such as covering too many co-workers’ shifts, taking on new tasks, or participating in research.

4) Take breaks

Prevention is always better than cure. Breaks are necessary to be able to work with maximum productivity and efficiency. Take frequent breaks in a shift to keep up the same energy till the end of the shift.

Go for a vacation once in a while to take breaks from the monotonous daily schedule. This helps you to recover from stress and burnout faster.

5) Seek support

Consider asking for support where necessary. Burnout is a situation where the person is almost on the verge of depression, and in that situation, taking help from a trustworthy person helps you to recover faster from Burnout.

Family and friends: Talk to your family and friends whom you trust fully and can make you feel that you are more than your professional life.

Therapists/counselors: Don’t hesitate to seek help from counselors to get recovered from burnout. Counselors help you to recover faster with proven strategies and formulas.

Talk to peers: Your peers may also be feeling the same as you are. That’s why sharing your problems with them will make you feel that you’re not alone. They may also suggest some ways to prevent burnout.

6) Stay positive

Looking at the brighter side of things will help you to handle stress as a nurse and prevent burnout. Though it is difficult to stay positive in difficult situations, cracking jokes at the workplace, and having friendly conversations with patients help.

Read some good books about nursing, this soothes your mind and reminds you of the importance of your profession.

7) Be emotionally stable

Working on your emotional intelligence to prevent burnout is one of the easiest tips to deal with nurse burnout and stress. Nursing is the most stressful job in the world, and staying emotionally stable in stressful situations is a must. You are required to cultivate certain qualities in order to remain emotionally stable which include compassion, good listening, good communication, patience, etc.

8) Consider changing career

There is nothing wrong in considering changing your specialty if you don’t get enough scope of advancement, a sense of self-satisfaction, and facing only stressful situations in your present specialty. 

There are many high-demand options that are less stressful, offer more autonomy, provide a change of pace, and help you to avoid working in high-pressure clinical environments such as hospitals.

For example, you can consider shifting your career to a nurse educator or family nurse practitioner. 

9) Access Preventive measures at work

Many hospitals have become aware of employee stress and burnout. And to combat this, they provide counseling and organize various programs such as yoga classes, journal writing, pottery and painting classes, etc to give some breaks to employees from their routine work.

Consider participating in such programs and give yourself some chance to have fun and enjoyment.

10) Learn compartmentalization

Compartmentalization is a must-have skill for professionals working in high-pressure industries including nursing. Nurses have to face certain situations which are emotionally draining. 

As a nurse, you can slowly learn to compartmentalize and visit such patients whenever it is required.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Burnout

1) How to deal with nursing burnout

The question of how to deal with nurse burnout is a matter of more of a mindset of nurses.

Though preventing and dealing with nursing burnout is the combined efforts of hospitals and nurses,  the mindset of nurses plays a huge role. 

Nurses have to take responsibility for their self-care to deal with burnout. The nurse should take care of themselves  such as 

  • Leaving the position that is making them miserable
  • Having proper night’s sleep
  • Doing exercise, and meditation
  • Stop focusing on money to stay in that position

This self-care will help them to deal with nurse burnout.

2) How do you handle stress as a nurse?

Nursing is the most fulfilling and rewarding job, but it comes with its pros and cons. And one of the cons of nursing is it’s a very stressful job. Nurses have to work in stressful situations that consume lots of their physical and emotional energy.

One of the ways to handle stress as a nurse is by indulging yourself in the activities you love,  for example, music, painting, dancing, spending time with family and friends, etc.

Many nurses have claimed that setting up boundaries, taking adequate sleep, hiring help, and asking for support are some of the easy tips to deal with nurse burnout and stress.

Also Read:- The Effects of Nurse Burnout

Also Read:- Nurse Burnout In US: How To Prevent Nurse Burnout

Also Read:- Signs Of Nurse Burnout And Ways To Prevent It

Also Read:- Nurse Recruitment 2022: A Detailed Guide With 18 Proven Strategies

Conclusion

Thus as a nurse you are the backbone of hospitals, as doctors treat disease, but nurses treat patients. The recovery rate of patients depends upon the way they get treated at hospitals.

That’s why you have to treat patients wholeheartedly and for that, you must be free from any stress or burnout issues.

Following the above-mentioned tips will help you to solve nurse burnout problems.