Tough day at work? Everyone has days like that, but some days feel worse than typical bad days. And sometimes, it feels like every day falls into that category. When that happens, employees may say they feel burned out. The phenomenon of burnout is not unique to healthcare, but an article from PubMed Health notes that the term has its origins there.
The term “was coined in the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. He used it to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals experienced by people working in ‘helping’ professions.”
What does that mean? Freudenberger explained, “Doctors and nurses, for example, who sacrifice themselves for others, would often end up being ‘burned out’ – exhausted, listless, and unable to cope.”
Do I HAVE to go to work?
Some symptoms of burnout, such as being tired all the time, can also be associated with other causes, including depression or thyroid problems. As a result, when employees feel burned out, they should consider having a check up to rule out underlying health issues. Some symptoms, including dreading going to work, are more specific to burnout. Nursing Link explains, “That dread is a signal from your body that something is wrong. So pay attention. What don’t you like about work? Is it your co-workers? Your boss? The hours? The actual work?”
The list goes on
The Mayo Clinic explores some additional signs and symptoms of burnout. This esteemed institution says people may be experiencing burnout when they
- Have become cynical or critical at work
- Have become irritable or impatient with people at work (including colleagues, patients, etc.)
- Lack the energy to reach their usual productivity levels
- Lack satisfaction from work achievements
- Feel disillusioned about work
Some people deal with burnout by using some vacation time to get away for a little while. Others find that scheduling daily exercise helps. Some hospitals are getting in on the act, too. The Cleveland Clinic, for example, has followed the example of North Hawaii Community Hospital in implementing Code Lavender. “Within 30 minutes of a call, the Clinic’s team of holistic nurses arrives at the unit in need to provide Reiki and massage, healthy snacks and water, and lavender arm bands to remind the nurse or physician to take it easy for the rest of the day.”
Everyone is vulnerable to burnout
It’s important to remember that no one is immune to burnout. Everyone – direct placement, contract staffing, temporary employees, and contingent staff – can experience it. In addition to placing employees in healthcare facilities, 365 Healthcare Staffing Services provides support and resources for those we place. This type of support can be very helpful in avoiding burnout, so remember: we’re here to help!