Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue
NURS 6053: Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership
To Whom it May Concern:
Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue
In this paper, the writer will be addressing critical care nurse burnout and how it correlates with poor patient care. There will be a discussion on the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) nurse burnout rates and rationale. The writer will be presenting how adopting self-care activities outside the workplace and having proper stress management groups within the workplace may reduce job fatigue. There will be an analysis of two research articles that pertain to the proposed changes for a reduction in nurse burnout (Harkin, 2014).
Purpose of the change proposal
Nurse burnout in acute care settings is high due to increased stress in the workplace, long hours, and traumatic exposure in patient care. This type of environment can cause increased pressure on nurses leading to job fatigue and higher rates of nurse burnout. Job fatigue is reflected in reduced patient care and decreased overall empathy (Cocker & Joss, 2016). Having a balanced work and home life with positive self-care activities as well as having proper stress management within the workplace, job fatigue can be prevented and keep higher quality nursing care present in acute care settings (Chilcoat, 2016).
University of New Mexico Hospital burnout rates
Nursing burnout continues to be one of the top reasons for turnover rates at the UNMH. The high burnout rates at UNMH researched within the past five years show higher burnout. This research has shown that burnout directly correlated with; lack of social support, inability to control schedule or assignments, chaotic job atmosphere, and imbalanced job and work life. UNMH is working on developing outlets and programs to reduce burnout rates (University of New Mexico, 2016).
To provide education within the acute care setting for nurses about the importance of positive self-care activities such as; meditation, therapy, physical exertion, and taking time away from work to appreciate life outside the workplace. There can also be nurse-to-nurse interaction within the workplace where they can discuss acute stressors and provide therapeutic communication to one another to reduce active stress in the workplace (Wolf, Perhats, Delao, & Clark, 2017) — working on offering self-scheduling to employees, preventing mandatory overtime and monitoring overtime in employee scheduling, and creating mentorship programs (University of New Mexico, 2016).
Evaluation of the literature
The first article the writer will discuss, Burnout among nursing staff in accident and emergency and acute medicine: a comparative study (2003) is a triangulated research design incorporating both quantitative and qualitative methods. The purpose of this study was to establish factors that contribute to stress and burnout, to determine the experiences of nurses affected by it, and highlight the effects on patient care. Also, to determine if stress and burnout have any impact on the individuals outside the clinical setting. The results of this study showed the need to provide more significant support networks, interpersonal relationships, and teamwork as more robust methods of raising morale and lowering stress. By providing better education and resources, it may assist with exhaustion and burnout (Gillespie & Melby, 2003).
The next article to discuss is the Prevalence of burnout syndrome in emergency nurses: A meta-analysis (2017). This article recognizes burnout syndrome as one of the most important occupational health problems in various professions that involve working with other people. This article discusses in depth about how this correlates with emergency nurses and provides an outlook on interventions and mediation to help face nurse burnout. They determined that better workplace conditions and the formation of professional peer groups, where nurses can express their emotions and feelings, may decrease the occurrence of burnout in these professionals (Gómez-Urquiza, Fuente-Solana, Albendín-García, Vargas-Pecino, Ortega-Campos, & Fuente, 2017).
By incorporating the methods found within the two research articles provided, UNMH may have a chance at changing the increasing rates of burnout. In the positive direction, the implementation of peer support groups and establishing self-scheduling can assist nurses in experiencing less burnout. From a negative perspective, with any change comes controversy. The application would need to be done with the public intention of decreasing job fatigue and burnout. When nurses can see the purpose of change, they are more open to making the changes in their work environments (University of New Mexico, 2016).
Nurses need to be educated and equipped with tools to prevent job fatigue and burnout. Interventions should include work and home life balance with the involvement of self-care activities as well as stress management tools within the workplace. When nurses can take care of themselves, they can then take exceptional care of others. By preventing nurse burnout in emergency medicine, patients may be provided with the individual attention that they come to acute care settings for (Gillespie & Melby, 2003).
Chilcoat, M. (2016). Comment on “It’s a burden you carry”: Describing moral distress in emergency nursing. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 42(3), 198. doi:10.1016/j.jen.2016.02.022
Cocker, F. & Joss, N. (2016). Compassion fatigue among healthcare, emergency and community service workers: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Public Health. doi:10.1037/e510112017-001
Gillespie, M. & Melby, V. (2003). Burnout among nursing staff in accident and emergency and acute medicine: a comparative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 12: 842–851. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2702.2003.00802.x
Gómez-Urquiza, J. L., Fuente-Solana, E. I., Albendín-García, L., Vargas-Pecino, C., Ortega-Campos, E. M., & Fuente, G. A. (2017). Prevalence of burnout syndrome in emergency nurses: A meta-analysis. Critical Care Nurse, 37(5). doi:10.4037/ccn2017508
Harkin, M. & Melby, V. (2014). Comparing burnout in emergency nurses and medical nurses. Clinical Nursing Studies, 2(3). doi:10.5430/cns.v2n3p152
University of New Mexico. (2016). The high cost of nurse turnover. Retrieved from https://rnbsnonline.unm.edu/articles/high-cost-of-nurse-turnover.aspx
Wolf, L. A., Perhats, C., Delao, A. M., & Clark, P. R. (2017). Workplace aggression as cause and effect: Emergency nurses’ experiences of working fatigued. International Emergency Nursing, 33, 48-52. doi:10.1016/j.ienj.2016.10.00