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5 Ways To Reduce Nurse Burnout

nurse burnout

If there’s one thing nurses complain about, it’s burnout. In fact, a recent study suggested “one-third of all nurses in the U.S. report an emotional exhaustion score of 27 or higher, which is considered to be ‘high burnout.’” And it’s no wonder why. Nurses have a lot of responsibility. 

When you’re running a nursing home or assisted living facility, avoiding burnout among your staff should be priority number one. Burnt out staff members are more likely to make mistakes. They also report higher levels of depression, anxiety, and overall dissatisfaction with their jobs. 

While there are personal decisions individuals can make to avoid burnout, a large portion of preventing it should come from the employer. 

Signs of Nurse Burnout

Before you can prevent nurse burnout it’s important that you know what to look for. Spotting symptoms of burnout ahead of time can help you assist team members, work through issues, and ensure that your staff is kept healthy and happy.

Nurse burnout symptoms:

  • Arriving late
  • Calling in sick 
  • Changes in attitude
  • Withdrawal from the team

Use a Nurse Scheduling Software

Nurse scheduling software will help you create a fair and equitable schedule that prevents individuals from being overworked. The ideal software will allow you to avoid expensive overtime (which can overwork employees too) and helps to keep you organized so that team members are given their requested schedule.

Get Ahead of Burnout

Don’t wait for employees to quit or show that they are experiencing burnout. Instead, take the time to keep an eye out for signs employees might be on the brink. Now, more than ever, team members are being stretched at home and at work.

Do nice things for your employees to take things off their plate. Offer meals so they don’t have to remember to bring one or leave the facility for a meal out. Encourage self care. Show them that you’re there for them.

Encourage Breaks

When it comes to missing out on breaks nurses are the worst offenders. We’ve heard of nurses who can go an entire 12 hour shift without going to the bathroom or having a meal. That’s just not good. 

Make sure your team is taking breaks. Encourage them to even grab 15 minutes to take a deep breath and have a snack. Ask team members to look out for each other and assist with responsibilities so everyone is given a chance to step away. And if you have the right credentials (i.e. you’re a nurse), step up as a leader and step in to help cover needs for team members when the opportunity comes up.

Watch The Patient to Nurse Ratio

The number of patients per nurse is something to keep an eye on. If you find your team with a higher patient to nurse ratio than others, it’s time to use your scheduling software to properly allocate your team. 

This might mean opening shifts to per-diem or part-time team members or evaluating the patients you have and allocating staff based on patient demands.

Create a Positive Work Environment

It starts with you. Create an environment at work where employees feel supported and cared for. No one wants to feel like they’re just another cog in the system. Show your employees that you’re there for them by being present, listening to their needs, and making a genuine effort to improve where you need to.

Burnout is something that most nurses face at some point or another. The good news is that as a leader in senior care you can help to ensure your team is kept healthy and happy when they’re working for you.

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