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Burnout of Emergency Nurses Essay Sample 

This essay sample shall focus upon the definition of burnout,  emergency nurses’ symptoms of burnout, causes of their burnout, strategies for alleviating nurse burnout, and statistics of nurse burnout in Ireland.

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Nursing is a very selfless and dedicated profession of helping others within a healthcare setting. While providing extensive care to the patients it also starts taking a toll on their personal health and wellness.

An increase in the workload pressure, responsibilities, staff shortage, and other job factors have caused a burnout stage in the nurses. Such a state of burnout not only affects the nursing profession but also the personal life of the nurses and puts the patient’s life in danger. It affects the overall quality of life of a person and causes occupational health problems.

The prevalence of burnout syndrome is high in emergency nurses affecting almost 38% of them per year. In the healthcare department, nurses are the most affected and experiences a high level of burnout.

The burnout of nurses can be identified by the health institution when there is an increased amount of absenteeism, reduction in work performance, and job rotation. It is an excessive physical, emotional and mental exhaustion causing prolonged stress.

Out of every 10 nurses, 4 of them work dreading their shift, 4 out of 10 experience a lack of empathy while handling patients, 4 out of 10 feel dissatisfied at their job.

Causes of burnout of emergency nurses 

There are many deep-rooted causes of burnout of emergency nurses in a healthcare setting and some of them are:-

  • Long Working Hours – Nurses working for 12 hours in a shift has been shown in a study to be more harmful to the patient’s care. Long working hours causes low satisfaction level and low delivery of healthcare services to patients.

Nurses working for 12 hours in a day not only are at risk of burnout but also experience severe distress, fatigue, and poor work-life integration. If not treated timely can become a severe issue.

  • Increasing Workload – Apart from the care services that are being provided by the nursing staff they are also responsible for other administrative tasks, charting, and follow-up care within the health institution.

Due to an increase in the workload pressure, it becomes difficult for the nurses to focus on their core responsibilities that lead them to get frustrated and unable to complete their tasks on time.

  • Poor Working Environment – Poor leadership by the head of the healthcare team, lack of coordination in the team, and issues related to management are the leading factors causing stress in the nurses. Any such regular exposure to a poor working environment can cause burnout in the nurses.

Emergency nurses have to face traumatic injuries, combative patients, high mortality rate, and ethical dilemmas are also part of the working environment culture that can affect the mental health of a nurse.

  • Death and Sickness – Taking care of dying or sick patients is a regular practice or normal routine of a nurse in an extended care unit but it can too take a toll on their health adding up and causing burnout.
  •  Lack of Sleep – 25% of the nurses do not get enough sleep as per a survey. Long working hours cause chronic lack of sleep, irritation, and effect on work performance.

Symptoms of burnout of emergency nurses 

Some of the common symptoms of emergency nurses who are working for long hours in the emergency unit are:-

  • Excessive physical and emotional exhaustion of a nurse while performing the nursing task.
  • Getting a high level of anxiety and panic while working and feeling of lack of competence and achievement.
  • Frequently falling ill and getting sick due to long working hours.
  • Increase in muscle tension and headache.
  • Lack of appetite or change in the appetite due to skipping meals during the day in working hours.
  • Sleeping disorder or disruption in sleep can be a symptom of burnout syndrome caused due to a busy work schedule.

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Strategies for alleviating burnout of emergency nurses

Some of the strategies that can be recommended to the nurses to use for coping with the burnout stage are:-

  • Deep breathing is an effective strategy for dealing with stress and helps in recollecting our thinking and to handle any stressful situations.
  • When there is already a workload on a nurse then one must deny to take any further responsibilities and deal with the present work before adding any more responsibility as the work may get out of control.
  • If a nurse can delegate their work responsibility or share them with other healthcare staff then it may give them personal space and free time for spending it with their family and friends.
  • Self-control is another important tool for setting up healthy work boundaries for ensuring healthy professional life. Practicing healthy habits, setting up boundaries for work, and sleeping on time could be certain parameters that can reduce burnout.

Statistics of nurse burnout in Ireland 

The young professional health nurses report more cases of burnout which is 68% and those who are above 51 years and above have reported burnout which accounts for 47%.

Public Health Nurses with primary degree reports a feeling of burnout which is 31% and those with masters and doctoral degree (54.5%).

Health nurses who are working on fixed-term full-time contracts are more likely to report burnout (70%) in comparison to nurses on a permanent part-time contract (49%).

1/3rd of the nurses in Ireland believes that the quality of patient care in the hospitals have deteriorated.

32% of nurses claim that quality of care services in their hospital has deteriorated, 44% believed it has remained the same and 24% felt that it has improved.

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The above sample explains the burnout in emergency nurses and various aspects that are associated with it.

Nursing QQI Level 5, Nursing Studies QQI Level 5, Nursing and Midwifery QQI Level 5, Healthcare QQI Level 5, Care skills and care of older person QQI Level 5, Wellbeing QQI, Occupational First Aid Course FETAC Level 5 students can specifically read this sample to gain knowledge.

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