In our last post, we examined the common symptoms of nurse burnout and what can cause it. Today we’re going to bat for our nurses and addressing some of the many ways medical facilities – and nurses themselves - can combat employee turnover.
Managers and team leaders should spot the signs of burnout, such as chronic lateness, frequently calling into work sick, inattention to daily tasks, withdrawing from group interactions, and demonstrating frustration with minor day-to-day inconveniences.
Nurses should take their PTO and reduce overtime scheduling whenever possible. Periods of rest produce opportunities to recharge and return to work refreshed. If this isn’t possible, activities such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, meditation, journaling or similar relaxation techniques should be encouraged. Participation in sports, hobbies or learning activities can also help. Taking advantage of work or community sponsored counselling and/or therapy is another great way to reduce the likelihood of burnout.
Nurses with excellent interpersonal relationships at work tend to suffer less from burnout. Use of teambuilding exercises and department initiatives can encourage bonding. Recognizing individuals for exceptional service, work anniversaries and personal milestones such as birthdays, the birth of a child or important family loss can build bridges between team members that offer support and increase employee satisfaction.
A recent survey by Kronos shows 55% of nurses stated their overall level of fatigue would be reduced if they could have more control over their scheduling, and 60% said their work/life balance would improve. Being able to forecast patient volume and the proper use of employee scheduling techniques can go a long way toward decreasing nurse burnout.
This may require additional staff, but addressing related challenges such as low nurse retention, poor patient satisfaction, poor patient outcomes and high readmission rates before they occur is a good dose of preventive medicine.
Nurses are highly trained professionals, but they’re often engaged in patient journey administration tasks others can do just as well. By delegating these tasks to non-clinical professionals, nurses will be able to devote their time and energy to the work they’ve been hired to do.
Many nurses who burn out in a certain environment can benefit from changing specialties. If the pressure of being an ER or ICU nurse gets to be too much, consider proactive nursing, clinical supervisor nursing or forensic nursing. It’s also worth looking into one of the many healthcare staffing services or travel nursing, which will offer opportunities to “try out” many different types of environments.
Float Care has developed easy-to-use healthcare workforce management software facilities can use to ensure adequate healthcare staffing and improve their business process management. Our platform will help balance your daily case schedule, maximize float pool management, implement an emergency medicine scheduler, and even offer shift swapping functionality. We’ve hand-picked exceptional local nurses you can bring in right now through our nurse scheduling app. Since our nurses tell us when they want to work, you know the professionals you find on Float Care are always ready and willing to work when you need them. Visit the Float Care website today to schedule your free demo!