October is slowly coming to an end; the scary witches and ghosts are creeping out, and the trees are approaching their naked stage. This is the time when kids also start sniffling and contracting strep and the flu. The emergency room is packed and the shortage of nurses is beginning to show. There are an immense amount of patients coming in and out of the hospital, but not enough nurses have been hired to complete the job of aiding these patients back to health. Not only are the patients indisposed, but the nurses also aren’t performing at their best. This is referred to as nurse burnout. The term burnout generates situations where nurses are under large amounts of pressure causing both physical and mental exhaustion. The overwhelming surroundings pushes nurses to their limits and strains them to the point where they feel they are not being as productive. Nurses carry a large load on their backs being that their jobs cause high levels of daily stress, extreme tiredness, and of course the common epidemic known as nurse burnout.
Many aren’t aware, but stress is a very common underlying part of working as a nurse and they are required to continue working daily while also in this state of mind. Widely, nurses are reaching their breaking points by working way too many shifts and taking on the high levels of stress that come with it (Thomas, 2004). As a result, this can become dangerous to the nurses’ physical health causing issues like that of depression, and substance abuse (Thomas, 2004). Since a nurse’s job is very essential, they tend to undertake large workloads. In return, these large workloads cause them to undergo intense amounts of stress and to cope they often turn to drugs and alcohol. However, there are positive ways to manage when in this position. Yet, before doing so the specific cause of what they are experiencing must first be determined. Stress isn’t a disease that one contracts like that of Aids or Cancer. There is a chain of events that lead up to the stress and once it reaches its’ limit nurses began to suffer the consequences. The causes of stress on a job are connected with the employees, organization, and the overall workplace (Mariola, 2018). A combination of daily task, responsibilities and unexpected events can affect nurses mentally and cause them to feel overwhelmed while still having to properly perform. However, it is all about the way in which an individual personally handles it. Some people handle stress very well, while others let it weigh on them as a heavy burden. Most people think that nurses have it easy because they’re just simply aiding people back to stability. Yet, the fact of the matter is it isn’t always roses and sunshine because in the mist they experience a lot of ups and downs
Being that the job is highly demanding, excessive fatigue is usually very common amongst nurses. It is said in an article that, “Fatigue statically increases work related stress in ER nurses (I Gusti Ngurah, 2018). Nurses in hospitals across the world are often times impacted by 12 -hour long shifts and those who work multiple long shifts seem to experience more increased exhaustion and an overall lack of energy. They feel the effects of fatigue from more than just insufficient sleep, but also from the feelings of muscle weakness, diminished reflexes and impaired critical thinking skills. Excessive tiredness can affect more than just the nurse, but also those in their surroundings. One article discusses that, “Since early detection of risks through observation is essential to preventing health complications in patients, insufficient numbers of nursing staff and their excessive workload contribute to higher patient treatment costs” (Sylwia Anna, 2018). Nurse’s fatigue can’t just affect them, but also the way in which they perform at work. They work with patients so it is critical that they are always at their best. However, that is only considered to be a vision. In some instances it may not always work out that way especially when dealing with personal issues of their own resulting in an absence at work. This lack of presence causes the patients treatment to become increasingly expensive. So, not only are these patients sick in a hospital bed, but they now have to stress about how they are going to pay off their hospital fees. Taking on this job subjects individuals to set standards causing them to experience weariness which affects not only them but others around that work environment.
Nurses also deal with the heavy effects of nurse burnouts causing them to feel both mentally and physically exhausted. The special cases that nurses deal with daily are inconceivable to many: life, death, and just about anything that comes to mind is the overall gist of what it’s like being a nurse. (Waddill-Goad, 2016). It is more than just a regular nine to five. These are people who took on a profession to be able to make a huge difference in the lives of others, but a lot of people don’t understand the amount of workload they take on and how much it actually affects them. Many are looking from the outside in, but nurses see the absolute worse sides of these patients. The patient’s energy becomes contagious resulting in the emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion of nurses. Because of the distress and uneasiness caused from these graphic instances, they begin to feel the true meaning of burn out. My mentor Natalie Kennedy works in the burn unit of Grady Hospital and these patients often times have chronic nightmares after experiencing severe burns. Natalie says that she often times has to deal with the emotional backlash of these patients taking hours to fully calm them down. She works from 7pm until 7am everyday working to contain these outburst and even mentioned to me that sometimes she is up for a full 24 hours because she can’t sleep when given the opportunity. Additionally, she says there are some days where she loses confidence in herself, doesn’t want to come into work, and isn’t always performing at her best. Nurse burnout happens when all the buildup of emotional stress causes them to reach the point where they throw in the towel and give up on their jobs. This low point is eventually revealed though low employee morale. They absolutely have no motivation or willpower to continue on. Burnout is a critical condition to be in and when at this place of excessive exhaustion, a heavy weight is being carried on the clavicle of the shoulder yearning for something to lift it.
Nursing is one of the most fascinating and developing careers known today. Their main priority is patient care and helping people in any way possible. However, there is no mention of how stressful and demanding the job can be. Nurses take on burdens experiencing things like that of, physical tension, weariness, and emotional draining. They work many long shifts and with the added stress that comes with it, they begin to experience major illnesses of their own; substance abuse being one of them. The overall work environment has much to do with why nurses are encountering these high levels of tensity, but not everyone handles it the same. The overwhelming shift work can result in an off sleep schedule for many nurses. This lack of rest can often times put patients at risk and affect their stay the in hospital. Nurses see just about every disease and illness known to man while working in the hospital. This also means that they personally experience all the backlash of an ill patient. My mentor Natalie sees this first hand while working in the burn unit. Often times this can take a toll on her general performance during her time working at the hospital. Consequently, a nurse’s job is nowhere near easy. You don’t just pick up a ball and bounce it or just use your legs to run. There is critical work put into taking care of patients and without them, the injuries and illnesses we face today would still be in effect. The Paul George’s of this world would still be facing gruesome leg injuries and the Robin Robert’s would still be suffering from cancer. So, the next time you visit a nurse at the hospital think of how much they actually go through for the benefit of you.