There are many significant issues facing healthcare today, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. As the healthcare industry focuses on improving healthcare outcomes, nurses and physicians are faced with increased workloads, long hours, and increased physical and emotional demands, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Portoghese et al. (2014), health care workers are at a higher risk of experiencing burnout, severe distress, and both physical and mental and illness.
Nursing workload and burnout have been a significant problem plaguing the healthcare industry for many years. Still, the pandemic has brought the issue to the forefront as nurses and physicians expressed the impact on social media and seen globally in the news. Many people witnessed nurses and physicians having breakdowns after enduring long shifts, alarming death rates, and the fear of their own health due to the lack of protective equipment. According to Laureate (2015), healthcare organizations need to be aware of what is happening in the healthcare industry and serve the needs of the people in a better way. Nurse burnout can impact the healthcare setting, causing nursing and physician shortages, decreased patient satisfaction, reduced productivity, and job turnover (Reith, 2018). Healthcare organizations need to understand the impact of the physical and psychological demands that attribute to nurse burnout and workload.
As a nurse, working in the hospital or any healthcare setting is stressful. Healthcare organizations can address the issue of nurse burnout by acknowledging burnout as a systemic problem and promote a culture of self-care (Reith, 2018). Organizations can create a wellness program to assist employees with work/life balance, offer resources, including counseling, mental health assistance, and self-care tools. My previous employer had an open-door policy available to employees to discuss any problems or issues and has personal leave available for employees that are under hardships or experiencing mental health issues. Time off can be requested and paid for up to two weeks without fear of losing your job. Although the supply for nursing is expected to exceed demand, various factors may affect nurses needed (Marshall & Broome, 2017). Nurse burnout and workload demands are a real concern.
Marshall, E., & Broome, M. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2015). Leading in healthcare organizations of the future [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Portoghese, I., Galletta, M., Coppola, R. C., Finco, G., & Campagna, M. (2014). Burnout and workload among health care workers: the moderating role of job control. Safety and health at work, 5(3), 152–157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shaw.2014.05.004
Reith T. P. (2018). Burnout in United States healthcare professionals: A narrative review. Cureus, 10(12), e3681. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.3681