It’s no secret that nursing is considered one of the most stressful professions. Not only is the job physically taxing, but the emotional impact of caregiving can take its toll as well. Stress on the job is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke, so it’s imperative that employers understand the risks and know what to do when they see signs of burnout among their nurses. Here are a few things you can do as a manager to help when things get dire.
Ask your team.
The more reliable method of determining if you’re employees are experiencing burnout is simply to ask. Your staff may not want to tell you when they’re overwhelmed or emotionally drained. Check in with them from time to time to see if they have the resources they need, if they feel stressed, or if there is anything you can do to help relieve the pressure.
Watch for common signs.
There are quite a few indicators that stress is out of control. If you begin to notice an employee taking an extraordinary number of sick days, it may be a red flag. Are they’re truly ill or are they unable to face the workplace? You may also notice their behavior has changed. They may be irritable, have extreme responses to small problems, procrastinate, or have a negative attitude.
Lead by example.
Stress is contagious, and if your team will notice your own stress levels on the job. If you’re concerned that stress levels might affect their work, make sure you’re paying attention about your own stress levels and the effect it’s having on your ability to manage. Also, don’t be afraid to pitch in when necessary if it means taking some of the unnecessary pressure off your nursing staff.
What to do about burnout.
If are seeing signs of burnout in your employees, what can you do about it? Make sure you’re providing praise for excellent work and positive reinforcement. Don’t dwell on the negatives, but certainly make necessary corrections along the way. And ensure that your team is comfortable talking with you even when the conversation can be uncomfortable.
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