The Burnout Blues

In the current employment market, being stressed out and working off of a decreased amount of sleep comes with the territory. People who put 150% into their jobs because they feel they have to end up developing negative associations with the work they’re doing long-term. This phenomenon is called burnout. Along with negativity towards your workload, burnout can lead to a short temper with other co-workers, mental/physical health related issues, absenteeism, low productivity, and thoughts about quitting your job.

For those that work in healthcare, this trend is even more prevalent.

Clinicians go into long shifts looking to help others, but end up in high-stress situations that can be literally life-or-death. They are superheroes, but even the most amazing superheroes feel the impact of constantly giving their all. According to a survey referenced by Strategic Industry Analysts from AMN Healthcare, “55% of [Registered Nurses] surveyed worried that their job was affecting their health.” Healthcare quickly teaches a clinician whether they can handle such an environment long term, which can lead to high amounts of turnover early on in their clinical careers.

While communicating your stress may be a good fix for some, others may need more in terms of how they handle burnout. Here are a few tips we’ve found that make all the difference:

  • After stepping away from a stressful event, take a minute or two to just breathe – Five seconds in through your nose, hold for three seconds, and seven seconds out through your mouth; Do this until you feel your heart rate come down, and you feel calmer overall
  • Save two to three off-days per month to do whatever would make you happiest – This could be anything from going to your favorite place, to a pedicure, just something to get you back in good spirits in order to tackle your next work week
  • Exercise with any free time you get – Studies say that even 15 minutes per day can lead to an increased level of endorphins
  • Be mindful of your thoughts – Realizing what situations are making you the most stressed can help you figure out ways to either manage or avoid a similar situation in the future

Aside from these tips, the best thing you can do is to work with your organization. Many employers put a strong emphasis on employee retention, and that comes with listening to what their employees have to say. As a healthcare staffing agency, we realize the importance of that facet within our business. It may not happen overnight, but as long as there is a conversation to be had about stress management, you can bet that any employer would be open to listening.

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