Six Steps to Combat Nurse Burnout

BURNOUT RESOURCES

Burnout. 

Burnout doesn’t always happen quickly.  A lot of times it can quietly creep in and take over our emotional, physical, and mental well-being without us really noticing.  It’s super common in helping professions because we are consistently experiencing high-stress and dealing with a lot of external factors that are out of our control.

Ways to help combat burnout:

  1. To first combat burnout we need to know what it looks like for each of us personally.  Think of a time when you were incredibly burned out. What was the situation? How did you feel emotionally, physically, and mentally?  Did you have a response to the stress? What was it if so? What areas felt lacking in your life during this time? We have to look inward to figure out how to help.

  2. Take personal accountability for your burnout.  We are each accountable for our own well-being. We cannot expect our significant other, our unit manager, or anyone else to make things better for us.  It can be easy to play the victim, blame others, or get caught up in workplace bitterness. This is adding to your burnout, not helping it. Look inward and check yourself on how this situation or stress can improve from your own self and not someone else.

  3. What can you control?  Burnout is often caused by outside factors out of our control.  Therefore, it’s helpful to list what you can control. Maybe you can’t control the 3 new patient admissions you got on top of other things currently happening in your shift, but you can control your thoughts around that, a plan of how you will make it all happen, your breath and how to keep your mind at ease, how you respond to that assignment and those patients, etc.  When we focus on what we can control it helps take back our power. You have power over burnout.

  4. Seek help in many forms.  Maybe what has worked for you in the past is time off, then take time off.  Maybe it’s been a few months since you’ve seen your therapist, make an appointment.  Maybe you need to go to an extra workout, cancel plans, say no to something that doesn’t serve you, whatever it is, do that.  Self-care is talked about a lot and it can be hard to understand what that looks like for each of us. Revert to Number 1 up top.  Identify what has worked in the past. Be open to that and finding new ways to rejuvenate yourself.

  5. Join or host a coffee talk.  This can be a great way to be around nurses, not at work, and discuss areas you are struggling and gain support. 

  6. Lastly, this article was a great read on burnout.  It’s about bringing wonder and awe back into your life to combat burnout.  Check it out here!

Cat Golden