5 signs of nursing burnout

Burnout can trigger addiction. Even more, job burnout can keep medical staff from both personal satisfaction and performance. Learn to recognize burnout in nursing here and get ideas for getting back on your feet.

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Job burnout is common

Medical staff can work in many different settings – hospitals, retail, home infusion, long term care, hospice and correctional facilities. No matter what setting they work in, they all face high demands. But when does burnout occur? And

Burnout frequently occurs when a nurse is overworked and/or doesn’t feel they are valued for the job they do. Adequate staffing is essential to help prevent burnout. There also needs to be adequate rest periods throughout the day so the nurse can step away from the stressors. There are 5 signs to look for with burnout.

Burnout in nursing: 5 signs

1. Feeling overworked.

Many times, if staffing is not sufficient, a nurse will feel overwhelmed and that adds stress to an already stressful job.

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2. Frustration.

If the nurse does not feel like they are valued or appreciated at the workplace, that quickly leads to frustration. Frustration can come across as having a short temper.

3. Feeling emotionally drained

When you are getting burnt out with a job, your emotions are like a roller coaster. Nurses work not only with their co-workers, but also with the public. Eventually, a nurse can become emotionally drained and have nothing else to give.

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4. Uninterested in job activities.

If a nurse who was normally involved with many aspects of their job suddenly becomes uninterested, there is concern for burn out. Nurses need to be involved in the day to day activities of their workplace.

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5. Unexplained physical ailments.

Stress and burnout can lead to physical ailments. Stress plays havoc on a body and eventually that can cause physical symptoms to arise.

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How to cope with nursing burnout

Nurses need to be very aware of how they are doing mentally and physically to try to avoid burnout. Eventually, burnout can lead to personal conflicts, physical symptoms, negative emotions and decreased productivity. Nurses might even start to use medications that they come into contact with in order to cope. Click here for signs of prescription drug problems.

When they are experiencing burnout, they may feel helpless. One of the main ways to alleviate burnout is to make sure you enjoy your time away from your job duties. Allow yourself to rest and relax. Nursing burnout is very serious and must be treated that way.

About the author
Nurse N Recovery has been an RN for 16 years. Most of those years were spent in Critical Care. 4 years ago, she became addicted to narcotics. She is now in drug addiction recovery and has developed a website to help others suffering from addiction.


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  1. Burnout can happen in any profession – a suggestion for medical related burnout would be to look into traveling nursing as it gives you the opportunity to get a change of environment every once in awhile!

  2. I think that any kind of professional burnout can lead to addiction, and that these signs can apply to any profession. I know that I felt like this last week…and I needed to take some time away from my main focus in order to feel renewed again. Americans need to take more vacation, in my opinion, especially medical staff!!!

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