Dr. Andrea Coyle, DNP, MHA, NE-BC, Chief Clinical and Innovation Officer at SE Healthcare, is dedicated to reducing and preventing burnout among nurses throughout the country. Andrea shares the importance of identifying burnout, the impact on individuals and organizations, and how to address burnout.
Burnout is more than a hot topic…it is very real and prevalent in the healthcare community. Dr. Christina Maslach is the pioneer of research on the definition, predictors, and measurement of job burnout. She developed the Maslach Burnout Inventory in 1981, which is considered the gold standard for measuring workplace burnout. The World Health Organization included burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” with health consequences in 2019 as part of their 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases. The prestigious ANCC’s Magnet Program, Pathway to Excellence and Practice Transition Accreditation Program added standards to address well-being as part of their designation criteria. Finally, in May 2022, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy described the importance of health care worker well-being and the importance of addressing burnout.
What is burnout? Burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Burnout occurs gradually overtime and has three fundamental symptoms:
- Exhaustion is feeling physically and emotionally exhausted and can be related to spending an excessive amount of time and effort to a particular task.
- Depersonalization is having an indifferent attitude, and can manifest as negative, sarcastic, or cynical people towards people you are meant to serve.
- Lack of Efficacy is the tendency to feel insufficient, or as if your work is not serving a purpose.
The burnout experienced by healthcare workers can have significant consequences, such as impacting their ability to provide patients with the best care or driving them to leave the profession. Employees experiencing burnout can’t contribute in the same way as engaged employees. This causes a strain on already overburden health care systems and can lead to a vicious cycle of burnout and employee retention.
It’s time to acknowledge and address the main contributing factors contributing to the burnout crisis. Excessive workloads, few breaks, and long shifts are some of the top stressors we hear from nurses that contribute to their feelings of burnout. Healthcare leaders, including CNOs, CEOs, and CMOs, are encouraged to create a workplace that values the health of their staff as much as they value the health of their patients. Many organizations have assigned Chief Wellness Officers to support healthcare workers suffering from excessive stress and burnout.
Preventing burnout requires an individualized strategy, since every healthcare organization is different. Measuring burnout levels and identifying common stressors within your organization is the first step. From there, you can identify the best strategy to address burnout and build a healthy workplace. SE Healthcare’s Burnout Prevention Program is the only web-based, holistic platform proven to directly reduce burnout. Their unique assessment tool gathers data from nurses through direct comments and identifies burnout contributors specific to your organization. This gives nurses the opportunity to openly express their top day-to-day stressors with a 100% confidential survey. Nurses are given immediate access to our Enrichment Center, which houses more than 185 short videos. This robust “micro-learning” catalog aims to teach individuals how to break old patterns and identify new methods of dealing with personal and professional stressors. Nurses can obtain Continuing Education credit for most videos, which are also aligned with peer reviewed recommended readings.
SE Healthcare is committed to helping clinicians and nurse refine their purpose and bring joy back into their careers. Support your nurses, improve clinical outcomes, and lower costs for your hospital. Together, we can battle the burnout.