Currently, with the acceleration of the pace of life, more and more people experience emotional overload and suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, which is a special psycho-emotional stress experienced by specialists who are in close contact when working with people. Listing the representatives of such professions, first of all, we should mention the medical workers. This category of people is more at risk of psycho-emotional overstrain and experiencing stressful situations. The first of these disorders can be burnout syndrome, which has negative consequences for the performance of their work. Emotional burnout is defined by many scientists as a psychological defense mechanism developed by an individual in the form of complete or partial exclusion of emotions or a decrease in their energy in response to selected traumatic effects.
Nurse Burnout Statistics
The professional activity of nurses presupposes emotional saturation and a high degree of factors causing stress and psychophysical exhaustion. The emergence of stressful situations at work is not a rare case, but a common and often occurring one. According to many studies, every nurse who has experienced stress at work has the symptoms of nurse burnout. Most of all, young employees who have little work experience suffer from burnout. This is due to unrealistic expectations regarding their profession and professional success. The medical practice is one of the most difficult jobs of our time. It requires a person to have diverse education, continuous professional development, as well as the possession of personal and professional qualities. Therefore, a nurse must have a certain empathy, patience, sense of duty, observation, and determination, to a certain extent be able to take risks and have many other positive qualities. The work of medical staff is responsible; it implies a high and constant psycho-emotional stress, which can later develop into emotional burnout in the workplace.
Causes Of Burnout
The development of this syndrome is based on the complexity of the interaction between a medical professional and a patient. Interpersonal contacts when communicating with patients and their relatives place demands on the communicative competence of medical personnel.
On the one hand, emotional burnout is described as a situation in which physical, mental and moral exhaustion is due to long-term psychological overload, and on the other hand, it is a process of reducing professional opportunities caused by different working moments. Nurse burnout, which is a reaction to prolonged psychological stress, can be characterized by the following signs.
- Reduction of mental abilities and psychological activity.
- Coldness in communication with friends and relatives.
- Cynicism in communication with all participants of the professional activity: management, colleagues, patients and their relatives.
- Indifference to the profession and, in general, to duties.
- The decrease in business activity and personal motivations.
- There is dissatisfaction with the results of work and a sense of professional unsuitability.
- Destructive criticism of the results of professional activities and reduced responsibility for it.
- Aggression for no apparent reason, pronounced dissatisfaction with others and themselves.
- Impairment of health (headaches, poor sleep and appetite, and reduced quality of life in general).
In the future, these symptoms can develop into psychosomatic diseases. Thus, the syndrome of emotional or psychological burnout is considered as a state where the main cause is psycho-emotional exhaustion due to the increased requirements to oneself in the emotional sphere.
Measures To Prevent Nurse Burnout
One of the key prevention steps is the interest of the leaders of the medical institution to preserve the emotional health of employees, by developing a set of measures to inform, diagnose and prevent burnout.
Both individual and group work can be carried out using appropriate training and psychological counseling for this case. No less important is the favorable climate in the team, professional and friendly support of colleagues. Currently, the development of optimal strategies for individuals who are subject to emotional burnout is a priority in many organizations of the medical profile. By this moment three main directions in this area have been formed.
- Organization of activities.
- Improving the psychological climate in the team.
- Work with the individual characteristics of specialists.
The problem of emotional burnout occurs very often, but this issue can be completely solved if it is identified in time.
To date, a necessary primary basic part of the prevention of emotional burnout is a personal psychological training of specialists at the college level. This is not only teaching the theoretical foundations of psychology but also practical training, which is aimed at developing stress resistance in life and at the workplace.
At the moment there are many different methods, trainings, and tips for the prevention of burnout.
- The increase in communication skills through active learning methods (social and psychological training).
- Training in effective communication and conflict resolution.
- Training that stimulates the motivation for self-development, personal and professional growth.
- Anti-stress programs and support groups focused on personal correction of self-esteem, confidence, social courage, emotional stability, and psychophysical harmony by mastering the methods of self-regulation and planning a personal and professional career.
- Compliance with healthy sleep, rest and nutrition.
- Search for new interests not related to professional activities.
- Reading not only professional literature.
- Cultural and entertainment programs (cinema, theaters, museums, exhibitions, etc.).
- Participation in various seminars, in which there is an opportunity to meet new people.
In addition, one of the effective methods of the prevention of emotional burnout is training seminars, which were designed specifically for medical professionals. Classes in the group help to ensure a certain shift in the consciousness of the nurse, not only in his or her professional activities but also in all aspects of his or her life.
How To Overcome Stress
Currently, the method of education for teaching the person anti-stress measures in the workplace has received widespread use in the prevention of emotional burnout. However, the disadvantage of this method is that many people cannot apply it in practice since their work requires behavior along a specific path.
In addition, an effective method of prevention is the use of methods of self-regulation and self-recovery. It can also be called safety equipment for a person who, by virtue of his or her professional duties, has frequent and numerous contacts with people. Self-regulation is the management of your psycho-emotional state by controlling breathing, muscle tone, representing certain mental images and words. All these components can be used both individually and in various combinations. Three main effects can be achieved by self-regulation.
- Activation (increased psychophysiological reactivity)
There are some other effective natural methods of self-regulation of the body:
- Smile, laugh, humor.
- Reflections on pleasant things.
- Viewing photos of dear people, certain colors pleasant to a person.
- Physical activities.
- Listening to the sounds of nature.
- Mental "bathing" in the sun or water.
- Fresh air and others.
In addition to natural techniques, there are some other ways.
Control Your Breathing
It is an effective means of influencing the muscle tone and emotional centers of the brain. Deep and slow breathing reduces the excitability of the nerve centers and promotes muscle relaxation. Conversely, frequent breathing helps maintain the body's high activity and maintain neuro-psychic tension.
Muscle Tone And Movement Control
Muscle tension occurs under the influence of mental stress. The ability to relax allows you to relieve neuro-psychological tension and restore your strength. As a rule, it is not possible to achieve complete relaxation of all muscles at once; you need to focus on the most intense parts of the body.
It is important to understand that artistic talent does not play any role here, but it is important to express your emotions in an abstract form with the help of pencils, felt-tip pens, and paints. In addition, the percentage of burnout of health workers in the workplace can be reduced through measures that provide opportunities for professional growth of the individual, a favorable climate in the team, by increasing personal and group motivation.
The Role Of The Clinic Management
The state of normal mental health implies the presence of peace of mind and balance, as well as the ability to adapt and overcome complex crisis situations and self-control. In severe forms, burnout syndrome is subject to thorough and complete medical psychotherapeutic treatment. Unfortunately, in some cases, the burnout syndrome goes so far that the only way to treat it is a cardinal change of professional activity, the transition to administrative work, or work that is not related to people.
Based on the above, we can conclude that it is so important to apply preventive measures for burnout, using various approaches (personalized methods, self-regulation methods, training, measures aimed at changing the working environment and others).
The management of the medical institution should clearly assign responsibilities and correctly consider job descriptions. It is the first step towards success in combating burnout. In work on the prevention of neuro-psychic tension, the task of strengthening confidence in the success of their professional activities should be in the first place. The main tools in the prevention of emotional burnout of an individual medical officer and the team as a whole are psychological training, informing employees about the syndrome, and measures to combat it.