Nurse burnout – an increasing emotional breakdown in the global pandemic

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Nurse burnout – an increasing emotion breakdown in the global pandemic
According to a survey published by Statistics Canada in Sep 2020, Canadian nurses’ average weekly overtime hours increased significantly from 6.6 hours in April 2019 to 9.7 hours in April 2020. Similarly, overtime increased from 5.8 hours in May 2019 to 10.3 hours in May 2020. This increase reflected that most nurses took heavier duties while facing more stress during the global pandemic. Healthcare professional workers, especially nurses, had the highest increase in weekly overtime rate.

 

The high overtime rate in the healthcare industry will result in increased stress levels, disruptive behavior, mood disorders, and depression, which eventually leads to nurse burnout, a widespread phenomenon that includes emotional exhaustion, lack of motivation, and feelings of frustration. Inevitably work efficiency reduces.

 

Keeping a good work-life balance is always the best solution to avoid nurse burnout. It will reduce most nurses’ stress levels and help prevent physical and emotional breakdowns. Here are some other strategies that nurses can implement to prevent burnout.

 

  • Seek professional consultation when you perceive you’re on the edge of burning out
  • Set work hours and create boundaries
  • Unplug during off-hours to leave time for your family and hobbies
  • Eat healthily and get enough sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Assess origins of stress

 

Becoming a travel nurse is also a good way to alleviate nurse burnout. Most travel nursing assignments are flexible, so travel nurses could determine the type of shifts and location to work at. Here are strategies workplaces could implement to prevent nurse burnout:

 

  • Build a community culture to encourage work-life balance
  • Allow flexibility and short breaks
  • Set up mental health consultation sessions

 

At Goodwill Staffing and Recruitment, we know the importance of work-life balance and are currently hiring for numerous travel nurse opportunities across Canada. If you are feeling a bit exhausted at your current full-time job, check our Travel Nursing program to see some job openings! Goodwill Staffing and Recruitment commits to matching your expertise to assignments.

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