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Impact of burnout in the nursing field - Essay Example

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Impact of burnout in the nursing field

They render service that will determine the patient’s safety and wellbeing. Burnout experienced by nurses would threaten, not only the patient’s safety, but also decrease the quality of care rendered. There is an ongoing shortage of nurses in the United States that contributes to the incidence of nursing burnout and impacts the over-all health care delivery system. As the functionality of a reduced nursing staff will decline should the prevailing working conditions continue. The major shortage today is escalating just as when patients are needing more complex care and demand for services are seldom unmet (Joint Commission on Accrediation of Healthcare Organizations, 2002). The opportunities in employment for registered nurses have been projected to be higher than any other discipline. Yet, a major shortage is still seen in the near future. This is caused by the deficiency in the number of nursing faculty and colleges and universities that are unable to take advantage of the unusually high number of qualified applicants due to financial constraints. There is a need for the government to step in to review policies and increase public subsidies (Aiken, Cheung, & Olds, 2009). The Causes There are several causes that contribute to the incidence of nursing burnout. One is the current nursing shortage has a high impact on the nursing profession. The nursing profession has always been regarded as stress-filled having to deal with manual labor, human suffering, rotating work shifts and various interpersonal relationships (Jennings, 2008). As the nurse is always on the frontline of patient interaction, they are the direct recipient of stress from situations of death and illness. The present inability to produce sufficient amount of registered nurses due to the limitations in school admissions compounds the situation. The population of aging nurse practitioners is now slowly being led to nursing burnout to compensate the inadequate staffing in hospitals (Bartels, 2001). Another cause for nursing burnout is the stress that is made complex by work, marriage and children. Work life is seldom independent from family life and this dependency is where conflict sometimes arises. This situation is predominantly felt by female nurses as they would have juggle the roles in their life like wife, daughter, mother and friend aside from being a nurse that should provide the best possible care for their patients. It’s Implication to the Nursing Field Due to the reduced number of nursing practitioners it is now a common practice to go on twelve hour shifts to allow them a 3-day work week thus giving more opportunity for work-life balance. Studies conducted by University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing claim that hospital nurses working on ten hour shifts or more are more prone to experience burnout and job dissatisfaction (Penn Nursing Science, 2012). There is an organizational need for nurses to go on overtime, rotating shifts or consecutive days lead to fatigue that eventually affects their job performance. The exhaustion and low energy that overwhelms the nurse that in turn affects the quality of care they render to the patients. The demand for acute care service is increasing in hospitals and thus need optimal nursing care. The reality of having fewer nurses to respond to this need is a precarious situation for patients and hospitals. The combination of very few nurses and nursing support personnel plus the paper work and other administrative duty ...Show more


Impact of Burnout in the Nursing Field Date Impact of Burnout in the Nursing Field Introduction Burnout, by definition, is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress (Smith, Segal, & Segal, 2012)…
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Impact of burnout in the nursing field
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