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What is nursing burnout and how does it impact the safety of nurses and patients alike? All over the country, nurses are tired. Nurses picket, protest and make other moves to demand safe staffing ratios and improvement of nurse and patient safety.

What is Nursing Burnout? 

Work-related burnout is defined as stress and exhaustion caused by overwork. In burnout, there is physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that can lead to neglect of work, neglect of private life, friends, and family of the health personnel, and can also lead to loss of personal identity in extreme cases or when something is not done to stop this feeling. The biggest problem of burnout in hospitals in the case of the nurses is that nurses and all nursing staff are in contact with patients, clients of the hospital or health service, and by not performing well, they can jeopardize the health of patients, their health, make mistakes and decrease the overall quality of care.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Caused an Increase in Nursing Burnout

The pandemic has left nurses and healthcare workers feeling extreme burnout, overtiredness, stress, fatigue, and other feelings that have been brought on by the death of many healthcare workers and patients alike, the illness of others, the excessive number of patients, and the shortage that this has caused in nursing. Many nurses want to continue working and helping people despite their situation but demand that working conditions improve and that public policies be integrated to improve the problem immediately.

Nurses Protest Short Staffing in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, nurses are protesting the shortage of nurses on a nurses’ strike. They also protest the growing burnout among their staff, calling for improved public policies to improve the care in their hospitals and their employment situation for the sake of the patients. Nurses are exhausted, arguing that patients need more excellent patient safety. They are also asking for nurses to have access to better working conditions, as there is a lot of desertion caused by low salaries, few incentives, few staff hired, and the nursing shortage that continues to affect all nurses in the hospitals.

As long as the problem is not solved, the patients in Massachusetts are the ones who suffer because they can’t receive the essential care provided by nurses. Although many people want to become nurses, there are no public policies that would allow better working conditions for nurses.

How Nursa Is Combatting the Nurse Staffing Crisis

Nursa is an app that allows nurses to earn higher hourly wages, find jobs at times that work for them, and avoid burnout, all through PRN jobs. Nursa is committed to providing nurses with better job opportunities so that more patients have the quality care they deserve.

In Minnesota, at Mayo Clinic, the nurses decided to opt out of the labor union, with the hospital at this time dealing directly with the nurses. While the hospital appreciates the nurses’ confidence in reaching agreements now with them, opting out of the union has left it in a very bad light. It appears that many times the human rights of the workers have been trampled upon in this and other unions, which has caused the nurses to seek legal advice to get rid of abusive unions with their labor and personal rights.

With no support from their unions, nurses are beginning to join other health care personnel, patients, and the community, seeking better working and living conditions. After a nine-month strike, nurses in Massachusetts could also get out of an unwanted union at one clinic. Wages, schedules, and working conditions must be what they need to work comfortably.

Nurses Picket in Florida

Finally, on July 29 at Steward Florida Medical Center in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, nurses held an informational nurse’s picket protesting their months-long demands for improvements to three crucial points in their contracts. They are essentially asking for three items to be improved:

  • Safe staffing standards. Safe staffing ratios refer to the number of health care personnel for a given number of patients. This is essential to improve patient safety and avoid burnout among nurses and healthcare staff.
  • Optimal health and safety standards. Health and safety standards are essential for optimal nurse and hospital patient safety. From analyzing situations in the work environment, preventing hazards, providing ongoing training to all staff, and involving everyone from the top to the bottom of the job.
  • Better nurse recruitment and retention. Nurse retention is also essential: every nurse entering a hospital for the first time needs to be trained in all the systems the institution has. To improve nurse recruitment and retention, one of the most important things to improve is the nurse-to-patient staffing ratios since burnout is one of the biggest causes of desertion. 

Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities Should Support Their Nurses

They should also enhance the pay of their staff, provide incentives for them to stay, improve communication channels, adapt to the current working conditions, and in this way, make the nurses want to continue working in that hospital. Despite all the nurses’ challenges, nurses persist in their work.

Written by Miranda Booher, RN

SEO Content Marketing Manager Miranda is a 14-year registered nurse with a healthy background in travel nursing and digital marketing. She brings an interesting combination of stellar copywriting skills and first-hand nursing experience to the table. Miranda understands the industry and has an impeccable ability to write about it. And speaking of travel - Miranda currently lives in Bolivia, though she maintains an active Registered Nurse license in the state of Ohio and stays current on the latest healthcare news through her writing. When she is not creating killer copy, or serving others through her work as a nurse, you can find her spending time with her family traveling in the Andes Mountains.

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