Burnout amongst Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses Natasha Gooden Professional Research Project NRS-441V November, 17 2013 Abstract The term “Burnout” was first used in 1974 to describe how staff reacted to ongoing stressful situations in jobs that dealt with multiple direct interactions with other people (Hanrahan, 2010)…
This paper explores the challenges associated with psychiatric mental health nursing and the burnout associated with this filed of work. Introduction As a mental health psychiatric nurse, I realized that one key issues in my area is rapid nurse burnout. Mental health nurses suffer from burnout much sooner than those in other nursing fields of care (Breen, 2013). Burnout is associated with the increasing shortage of nurses, trends leaning towards more community care, and the elimination of numerous mental health care hospitals and facilities. The above problems have created a stressful work environment causing nurses to be forced to attempt to provide high quality care to the ever increasing number of patient load while at the same time recording a decrease in resources (Hanrahan,2010). Mental heal nurses have additional stressors, some of which include the large emotional demand of taking care of patients with complex and challenging violent related issues. Overcrowding of acute care settings along with the nurse to patient ratios add to the stress that nurses have to content with. This makes the working environment unsafe for the operation of nurses. Undesputedly, an enabling work environment is in itself motivational to new qualified nurses. It helps avoid emotional exhaustion, which is largely seen as detrimental in mental health as it affects the outcome of patient care and to a larger extend result in depersonalization of the nurse (Breen, 2013). Studies show that burnout in the psychiatric nursing field may be associated with non-supportive management, and there is need for to have formal orientation programs to acute care mental health nursing settings for the staff. This would help provide continuing education for nursing and ancillary staff, which would ultimately help deal with issues such as overload of paperwork, staff to patient ratio, work related injuries, volatile and unpredictable working environment. By extension, working with verbally abusive/aggressive patients contribute to the burnout of psychiatric mental health nurses earlier than that of the counterparts who work as medical surgical nurses (Breen, 2013). Hospitals must make working environments more conducive to their nurse, as well the patients. This will help preserve staff and in the long run decrease/ prevent nursing burnout. Recent studies have shown that hospitals need to create an environment that values the knowledge and professionalism by their nurses, and should work towards maintaining appropriate nurse to patient ratios for purposes of facilitating patient growth and wellness. These studies also suggest that hospitals should facilitate nurse to physician relationships, if they have to maintain continuity of care throughout the interdisciplinary team. According to these studies, this woud help hospitals to maintain safety on acute care inpatient settings, as well as outpatient settings by providing adequate security for staff (Hanrahan, 2010). Problem Statement- Module 1 The two terms stress and burnout are often intertwined. As such, stress is the precursor to burnout. Stress is a feature that cannot be avoided in life; it can be viewed as positive or negative reinforcer (Elder, 2012). Burnout, on the other hand, has no positive aspects for the individual who is experiencing it. The term burnout is used to explain emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduction in personal accomplishments. This group of problems is commonly referred to ...
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