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Everyone in healthcare is experiencing increased demands on their time, resources, and energy. This, combined with systems that are not designed to support the expanding daily work and emotional toll of a pandemic, has resulted in increased rates of burnout. Burnout among healthcare professionals is reaching epidemic proportions, with over 50% of physicians and 30% of nurses reporting signs of burnout prior to COVID-19. While the evidence demonstrates that burnout is becoming a norm in healthcare, it is rarely discussed among these professionals. Too often, burnout is considered a personal problem affecting only the person experiencing burnout; however, in healthcare, burnout also affects the entire healthcare system.
Burnout has significant impact in healthcare, including lower-quality patient care, reduced patient and staff safety and patient satisfaction, and increased staff turnover. It has also been demonstrated that there is a statistically significant correlation between nurse burnout and increased healthcare-associated infection rates.
While burnout affects all aspects of healthcare, it is frequently perceived as someone else’s problem. Individuals feel like they cannot cope with the demands of their life and be effective at their work. Too often, they don’t want to ask for help, because they don’t want anyone to know they are experiencing burnout. They worry that they may not be appreciated or, even worse, thought of as incompetent if anyone realizes that they are experiencing burnout.
In this session, we’ll review the classic factors leading to burnout and distill them into a model of burnout focused on perceived personal efficacy and personal agency. Pulling research and writings from many disciplines, you’ll learn how to think about burnout in a way that enables you to prevent it – or recover from it – for yourself or the staff you support.