Safer staffing and breaks – what nurses really need to reduce burnout
Nurses share their suggestions on social media, which also include good work-life balance, better support from managers, shorter shifts and better pay
Safer staffing, better pay, good work-life balance and adequate breaks – these are just some of the things nurses have said they need to help reduce burnout at work.
Nursing staff shared their views on social media after new research published by the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) found that 40% of nurses reported ‘often’ or ‘always’ feeling burned out at work.
Nurses offer a range of solutions for burnout
The SOM said more than half of nurses reported emotional exhaustion and the ‘self-sacrificing and caring’ nature of the profession could lead individuals to neglect themselves.
Responding on Twitter, many nurses said having safer staffing and better staff-to-patient ratios alongside shorter shifts would help them feel better supported with burnout.
Proper pay could address ‘route cause’ of burnout
One nurse said: ‘Work-life balance would solve a lot. The shifts and hours are not healthy. If you are lucky to have a manager that supports you, then you are in the minority.’
Another nurse wrote: ‘We’re going in circles. NHS staff burnout is due to lack of staff, lack of time to get an ever-increasing workload done, increased patients, ever more complex patient conditions, juggling homes/families, lack of childcare or shift flexibility.’
Nurses also pointed out that proper pay restoration would go a long way towards supporting the nursing workforce and addressing the root cause of burnout.
Call for more access to occupational health
Stress and burnout have long been cited as reasons for nurses leaving the profession, along with exhaustion and feeling undervalued.
The SOM report laid out suggestions and strategies to help employers identify and tackle burnout among nurses and other healthcare staff, including better and universal access to occupational health, fostering a compassionate workplace culture, and training line managers to identify the signs and symptoms of stress and burnout.
In other news