Nurse Burnout: What You Need to Know
Burnout is a growing concern among nurses. Long shifts of 12 or more hours can lead to exhaustion and stress. Plus, many nurses are dealing with the emotional strain of dying patients and grieving families. Nurses in high-stress environments, such as hospital emergency departments, may be especially susceptible to burnout. And so are nurses who enter the field with the goal of helping others; they tend to take perceived job-related successes or failure personally.
The Signs of Nurse Burnout
Perhaps the best way to fight burnout is to learn the warning signs and take the symptoms seriously. While burnout can manifest different for different people – and some individuals may experience one symptom at a greater intensity than another – there are some common red flags. They include:
- Physical or emotional exhaustion
- Job-related cynicism
- Lack of empathy or not caring as much as you used to
- A low sense of personal accomplishment
- Intolerance to change
- Being “checked out” mentally
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Frequent headaches, upset stomach, muscle tension or pain
If left untreated, burnout can lead to clinical depression as well as a substance use disorder. This is because many nurses turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the physical, mental and emotional symptoms caused by chronic overwork and a sustained lack of job fulfillment and support.
Self-care is a big part of preventing nurse burnout – and this includes eating right, exercising, practicing relaxation strategies and doing your best to strike a healthy work/life balance. And, it goes without saying, that unwinding with drugs or alcohol is never the answer!
Addiction Recovery for Nurses
According to the American Nurses Association, roughly 8 percent of nurses have a substance use disorder – and Seabrook can help. Our specialty track for nurses was developed by nurses specifically to embrace and treat nurses. To learn more, call today: 800-761-7575.