Nurses are becoming overworked and underpaid and more often than not, this burnout will eventually lead to a bigger issue – an increase in medical errors and a decreased quality of health care services. This paper shall discuss the issue of nurse burnout and stress, including its causes and its effects. This paper shall also attempt to come up with appropriate solutions to this issue in the hope of effectively applying leadership skills and patient-centred solutions.
Burnout or stress often manifests in various ways. But the most common manifestations include the following: insomnia, fatigue that does not go away with sleep, colds, headaches, backaches, nausea, allergies or difficult breathing, and skin problems (Sahota & Bruin, 2009). Symptoms of burnout may also include chronic exhaustion, frustration, anger, depression, irritability, cynicism, bitterness, and negative feelings towards colleagues and other people in general (Sahota & Bruin, 2009). These manifestations of burnout are also sometimes seen by patients as they are at the opposite end of such negative feelings. In an article by Fagin, et.al. (2006), authors discuss that many nursing graduates being initially fielded in the hospitals experience severe burnout in the first two years of their work most especially because of heavy workloads. A major paper conducted on the subject matter covered 225 junior hospital nurses working in different hospitals in Ontario and the study was able to establish that about 66% of these nurses were experiencing burnout, emotional exhaustion and even depression (Laschinger, as quoted by Fagin, et.al., 2006). In the study, nurses were also one in expressing that work overload, unfair workplaces, poor relationships with other staff, and weak leadership cause nurse burnout. This burnout among new graduates has a potentially heavier effect on nurses because these