Nursing Job Blog

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The importance of technology in easing the workday
As their role expands from the bedside to the waiting room to the board room, nurses are busier than ever and increasingly stressed. Beyond providing direct medical care, nurses are also an educational resource, an advocate for patient needs, and a source of comfort. Combined, these factors are contributing to soaring stress levels and burnout.

A recent study revealed an overwhelming 92 percent of nurses are experiencing moderate-to-very high stress levels. This finding supports another study showing nearly half of nurses under 30 years old—and 40 percent of those over 40—are experiencing burnout. These troubling numbers are reflected in the nation’s growing nursing shortage. As the industry shifts toward value-based care and the demand for nurses intensifies, we need to identify the causes of burnout and find ways to give nurses the support they need.

Psychosocial Stressors and Burnout

Nurses face a variety of psychosocial stressors that combine individual environmental and psychological factors to influence personal wellness and a person’s ability to function. Day-to-day stressors include long shifts, fatigue, heavy workloads, and patient loss. Part of maintaining high-quality, multifaceted care includes getting to know patients and their families, which often means long hours and emotionally taxing conversations amidst nurses’ daily, high-volume shiftwork.

These stressors are exacerbated by secondary factors such as insufficient resources, lack of control and poor collaboration. These secondary factors are more prevalent in today’s working environment given workforce shortages and an inadequate structure of communication flow.

The effects of these stressors may include depression, erratic sleep patterns, self-doubt, disengagement, and reduced job satisfaction. Ultimately, burnout and compassion fatigue may result. The ripple effects can include reduced quality of patient care and low nursing staff retention, fueling the ongoing struggle to provide improved outcomes with fewer staff.

However, with the right mix of three approaches—leveraging the right technology, improving collaboration, and providing support—hospitals can arm their nurses with the tools they need to provide high-quality care without unnecessary stress.

Read full article here.