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How Nurses Can Prevent Burnout


Burnout is one of several perils of being a nurse. However, it can be tough to come to terms with. Burnout not only affects your mind, but it takes a toll on your body, too.

Do you feel this way? 
According to Psychology Today, there are many telltale symptoms that indicate you are experiencing or well on your way to burnout. Here are a few of them:

  • Feeling extremely tired physically and mentally
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Getting sick more often than usual happens because your body is more vulnerable
  • Forgetting things often, which creates a build-up of work
  • A lack of appetite
  • Feeling sad, guilty, worthless or trapped
  • Anger towards your friends, colleagues and family
  • Pessimistic thoughts, especially if you’re typically a positive thinker
  • Little things annoy you more than they should.

On staying happy
Fortunately, there are effective ways to avoid burnout. Here are some of Nurse Zone’s suggestions:

  • Repurpose any negative thoughts so that they have a positive spin
  • Remind yourself of all of the good aspects of your job
  • Use deep-breathing techniques
  • Allow yourself to take breaks
  • Rest your mind by getting into an activity that you enjoy.


Altruism linked to burnout
Burnout is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it could just mean that you’re a good person who cares a lot about your patients and career. According to a study conducted by the University of Akron, altruism is linked to burnout.

“Being motivated only by the desire to care comes at a cost - one that does not appear to affect those who are motivated by their intrinsic enjoyment of nursing tasks or the salary and benefits that can be associated with performing this critically important job,” said Janette Dill, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology at the University of Akron, who co-authored the study.

Make a change
It’s crucial to recognize burnout when it strikes. You may consider taking some time off, focusing on yourself and even seeking counseling to get this rough patch. It’s important to note that burnout transcends so many boundaries that it can happen to you even if you’re a very happy person.

If you have tried prevention and treatment techniques but still feel like you’re unraveling, it may be time for a change of scenery. Nurse Zone explained that finding a new hospital or city to live in may be just what you need to feel like your old self. Remember, it’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to be honest about your needs and make a change.

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