Healthcare professionals especially nurses are among those that undergoes maximum pressures. Nurses play a crucial role in maintaining patients wellness but they are the one’s that mostly manifests signs of burn out which are stress, depression and anxiety.
There’re different factors and reasons why nurses roles are highly stressful and why working in healthcare facilities can be so daunting. Mental health issues among nurses are so predominant that it is becoming harder for nurses to attract new nurses to stay as bedside nurses.
As a nurse for how many years now, I have noticed a sudden influx of new nurses that already are thinking of becoming a nurse practitioner or going to a different field of nursing that does not deal with direct bedside care to avoid having to deal with a highly stressful and more demanding tasks of a direct patient care.
Several Reasons Why Nursing Is A Stressful And Challenging Profession
- Nurses deal with different patient population of different personalities and backgrounds.
- Confrontations with patients, family members, coworkers are common.
- Exposure to violence and or aggression.
- There’s a high stake on being responsible with human life and well-being of other people.
- Exposure to infections and different disease conditions.
- Due to overwhelming tasks.
- Intolerant physicians.
- Having to deal with a high turnover of patients with short staffing is a normal occurrence.
- The unpredictability of situations.
- Exposure to death and dying, human sufferings and difficult family relations.
- Nurses deal with a lot of patients with mental or psychological issues which can be very mentally draining also as a caregiver.
- Being exposed to a lot of noise.
- Having to work long hours that hinders good quality family time, having a social life and enjoying recreational activities.
- A lot of hospitals and facilities has a high political issue or bureaucracy that nurses has to contend with.
- The reality and the tougher issues that nurses has had to deal with aside from nurse patient ratios are the work place bullying or having to deal with a difficult coworker.
- Patients relies heavily on healthcare personnel rather than their families or some does not really have any support systems to rely on.
- Lack of leadership support.
- Lack of recognition from the supervisors and the administrators of the importance of their work.
- The unbalanced relationship between work and the individual’s lifestyle.
- Professional dissatisfaction.
- Lack of supervision or monitoring in the execution of the work process wherein nurses would miss lunch breaks, bathroom breaks and tends to stay over time which causes a lot of stress on one’s physical health.
- The demands of nurses work process which requires discernment, leadership skills, clinical practice, knowledge and responsibilities causes so much pressure.
- Lack of institutional or organizational strategies to minimize the physiological and psychological consequences to nurses.
Effects Of Stress Or Burnout
- It can reduce the quality of care or productivity in the hospitals.
- It can reduce an individual’s performance.
- Decrease personal motivation towards any type of goal or accomplishment and personal responsibilities.
- It causes lack of confidence, frequent absenteeism and medical leave due to health reasons.
- The quality of the service drops and so as patient satisfaction.
- Poor quality of care may result to harming the hospital as well as patients.
- Poor interpersonal relationship with coworkers.
- Loss of energy to an individual or loss of his/her balance.
- Job dissatisfaction that leads to resignation.
- Substance use among nursing staff members.
- Development of occupational disease.
- Work related accidents such as back injury due to pulling and pushing, accidental puncture on the skin and physical harm caused by patients.
- Reduction in quality of life
- It has a big impact on the healthcare professional’s mental health which leads to anxiety, depression, psychological suffering, sleep disorders, fatigue and other somatic complaints.
- Psychological stress leads to physical stress that makes an individual predisposed to an opportunistic disease.
What Is The Definition of Burnout
According to Journal of Holistic Nursing and Midwifery, Burnout refers to a delayed reaction to chronic stresses at work, which causes numerous adverse effects on the individual and the organization where a person is working as well as on society in the long term.
The shortage of nurses in industrial countries today can be attributed to the detrimental effect of burnout which is becoming a major problem and finding a solution to this should be given priorities. According to studies which was released by Journal of Holistic Nursing and Midwifery, nurses are among occupational groups who are exposed to stress and mental health problems and these psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, sleep disorder and fatigue are the most common complaints. The estimated cost of depression, according to them, has been calculated more than 8 million dollars in the United States.
Things To Be Considered
With what has been mentioned above it is cost effective if organizations will alleviate some reasons or causes of nurses burnout. It will be very helpful to the organizations and society to have a healthy and satisfied nurses or any healthcare professionals as they all work and performs better when they are happier and healthy.
It is true that there should be a balance and majority of the issues may be solved if organizations especially the big one’s, our government and labor department will look into these issues. It will not be an easy fix as there’s a big gap in the dissemination and undertaking of the safety process.
A lot of hospitals employs administrators, managers, directors and or leaders that are very concern about productivity and patient satisfactions but has not looked carefully into the implementation or adherence to better patient nurse staffing ratios, to better the work environment and look at ways to better these nursing process where nurses will be able to get breaks consistently or get enough help especially during difficult tasks.
The work place and the work process should be monitored continually, since there’s an association between occupational harm and diseases with the execution of the specific nursing process or procedures, which causes high level of stress, low level of nurses productivity and reduction in their life quality.
Nursing staff member’s focus is giving priority to work demands but is often detrimental to one’s health as there’s no balance between their needs and the execution of the nursing tasks and demands. The highly stressful responsibilities and tasks of nurses exposes them to the risks of physical and mental disorders in which managers, supervisors and leaders of these institutions are neglecting to do something about.
The health of nursing professionals should be as important as the health of their patients and should be something that should be taken care of.
If you are a nurse or a healthcare professional and has a story to tell related to this, kindly share. For any questions, concerns or comments, please leave them down below.