NURSE BURNOUT – YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT’S REAL
Even on the best days, nursing has its own set of challenges. Add the stresses of the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s no surprise that nurse burnout is on the rise. A variety of studies report increasing numbers of nurses who say they feel the effects of burnout every day. So much so that some are considering leaving their current positions within the next few months, and others thinking about leaving the profession altogether.
At GetMed Staffing, many of our travel nurses have turned to traveling because of burnout. And that’s been great. But it’s important to take the issue of burnout seriously – and take action.
Recognize the signs of burnout
It’s important to know the signs of burnout and take action. This list can help you discover if you are suffering from its symptoms, including:
- Dread or anxiety about reporting for work
- Feeling tired all the time, even with sleep
- Emotional exhaustion
- Irritability, insensitivity or lack of compassion at work
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to sleep
As a nurse, so much of your energy is focused on others that it’s easy to forget about yourself. Make sure to practice self-care. That means:
- Get sleep – Even when your schedule is packed and unpredictable, it’s important to get regular sleep. Unplugging from phones, TV and electronics before bedtime is a good habit to get into to get ready for sleep. Reading and relaxation exercises are also a good segue to sleep.
- Eat healthy – You don’t have to achieve sainthood in your selection of foods, but reducing refined sugars, fried meals and processed foods are always good ideas. If you can increase intake of juices, fruits, proteins, veggies and whole grains, you’ll also notice a difference in your energy and overall well-being.
- Get exercise – Even though it feels like you do nothing but move throughout your shift, getting purposeful exercise is great therapy. Walking, vigorous movement, weights and classes help the mind and body. Consider joining a gym that’s likely to have locations in the same areas as your travel assignments.
Stay connected with people who matter
Your schedule gets busy, but it shouldn’t be so busy you can’t take time for the people who matter. Facetime, zoom calls, voice calls or even texting are great ways to share moments and keep in touch. Sometimes a well-timed meme is exactly what you need to maintain your sanity. While it’s important to vent, it’s also a great idea to listen to the latest from friends and family – as a great escape from your daily stressors.
Be aware at work
While everyone has their ways of coping at work, you don’t have to just “suck it up.” Be aware of the people and situations that bring stress, so you can prepare and not just react. Take time to breathe. When possible, take a minute to find something to feel grateful for – whether at work or in your personal life. Also, make sure you’re not taking on added responsibilities that either someone else can be doing or that you simply don’t have the bandwidth for.
Get support when you need it
Above all, get the support you need. Whether it’s finding someone to talk to professionally, scaling back on the hours you work, or introducing new routines into your life – don’t put off taking good care of yourself.
Your GetMed recruiter is a great resource for tackling nurse burnout. Feel free to call from the road, to get recommendations about assignments that are a better fit for you or to explore new options. There’s a reason we say, get ahead with GetMed.