Advanced Practice Registered Nurses already give so much of themselves and that passion to help no matter the demand on one’s self has never been called into action more than during this time of crisis. There has been much discussion surrounding the topic of burnout in nurses and physicians and certainly, it is a concern for APRNs as well.
Provider burnout can incorporate depression and high rates of drug and alcohol use. Additionally, in studies of physicians, they have seen an increased risk for suicides. Typical symptoms include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and feelings of inadequate performance or decreased sense of accomplishment. Contributing factors include hospital environment, long work hours, increased administrative work, lack of control, and EMR as this causes more screen time and less interaction with patients and family. Also, personal responsibilities pull us in multiple directions.
When we experience provider burnout it can lead to increased medical errors, lower patient satisfaction, decreased productivity, increased cost, and at times professionals leaving the healthcare arena altogether.
Here are a few tips that can help you keep or take back control of your well-being while still focusing on providing care to others:
- Stop conducting patient care 2 to 3 hours before bed. That includes charting at home, answering phone calls, or doing medication refills.
- Don’t pick up extra shifts. Give yourself a break. When you are at work, take breaks during the day to allow yourself to regroup.
- Prioritize what needs to be done during the day, including in your personal life. Then organize how you want to go through your day.
- Seek out valuable resources. Find ways to show your appreciation to staff and peers to help build strong professional relationships.
- Once a week do something for yourself. This is the most important of them all. A healthy and happy you will lead to a better provider, caregiver, and co-worker and will improve personal relationships. We all work hard to take care of our patients. We also must remember to take care of ourselves so we can be there for our patients and families for many years to come!
Read more in the OAAPN Newsletter.
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