- The reduction of a fuel or substance to nothing through use or combustion.
- Physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
There have been no studies on the rate of incidence of burnout, however it is observed quite frequently among long-term staff nurses.
Risk Factors for burnout may include:
- Working in the nursing field longer than 2 years.
- Frequent Mandatory Overtime.
- Conflicts with co-workers or Managers.
- Job Dissatisfaction.
- Limited time off work.
- Working in a high-stress environment (Nursing)
- Slacking off. If you’re coming in late, leaving early, taking long lunch breaks, cruising the Internet and “shopping” on-line, taking lots of sick days and/or personal days—face it, your heart is clearly not in the work.
- Disinterest. You could be suffering from burnout when you no longer care about the work. You do it, but it’s boring. Disinterest in the workplace is dangerous, because it leads to ignoring the details—and the devil really is in the details. Don’t ignore the next time you find yourself saying, “Oops!” That’s a symptom that your mind wasn’t on task. Why not?
- Emotional storm clouds. Your feelings have an uncanny way of telling you when the situation is not working. Don’t ignore them. Pay attention to them. Frustration, anger, depression, stress, sadness, hopelessness—classic symptoms of burnout. Tragically, many people deny or override their negative feelings by engaging in destructive behaviors that temporarily make them feel better: drinking, drug use, on-line porn, chat sites, even snacking and overeating. If you’re compulsively doing stuff like that, what is it about your job that is not engaging your best energy?
- Physical troubles. You may ignore all the signals that your supervisor, your coworkers, your gut, and your work itself are screaming at you. But your body will have the final word. Sleep problems (too much, too little), headaches, tight shoulders and neck, ulcers, weight gain/loss, hypertension—why, I once worked with a woman who felt nauseous as she arrived at work everyday. I’ll tell you what I told her: your physical ailments are your final warning that you could be suffering from burnout. You need to make a change in employment—not in years, months, or weeks, but in days. Forget whose “fault” that is. Get a new job—now!
Signs and tests
There are currently no definitive tests available for diagnosis of Burnout.
There is currently no known cure for burnout. It’s a progressive condition which only worsens with time. The best treatment is to manage symptoms by feeding the condition by changing careers and becoming a Travel Nurse.
There are multiple support groups for people suffering from burnout. Check the Outpatient Tab for links.
I would encourage you to post comments. Tell me what you want to hear about, what you enjoyed, or how you combat some of the issues discussed. You may also connect with me via Twitter or Facebook and together we can work on decreasing the symptoms together.