Nurse burnout is an epidemic not just in the U.S. It happens here in Sweden as well, the world over for that matter. It’s called “hitting the wall” in Sweden and fortunate for any individual living here, there is both financial and emotional support for those suffering. According to a 2010 study, “the hospital nurse workforce is experiencing greater workloads resulting from shorter hospital stays, rising average patient acuity, fewer support resources, and a national nurse shortage. Higher nurse workloads are associated with burnout and job dissatisfaction, precursors to voluntary turnover that contribute to the understaffing of nurses in hospitals and poorer patient outcomes. Indeed, more than 40% of hospital staff nurses score in the high range for job-related burnout, and more than 1 in 5 hospital staff nurses say they intend to leave their hospital jobs within 1 year.”
Burnout is a very personal story for me. It is a story I have not shared with anyone but my closest friends and family. Until now. Moving to another country, learning to communicate in another language, and working in intensive care in said language threw me over the edge and became my downfall. I then lost someone dear to me, a support I had counted on most of my life. I felt hopeless. I would drive to work holding on to some hope that I would make it through my shift and regain what little confidence in myself as a nurse I had left. I left most mornings with doubt, tears, and a feeling of hopelessness. I couldn’t sleep at night. I would toss and turn. On my days off I was so consumed with a lack of self confidence and worry. Something had to give.
Why share this extremely personal story? Because I was in denial for a long time. Because I thought it would never happen to me. Because it did happen to me and I want to give those experiencing burnout some sense that their is hope. Burnout does not mean the end of your career. It is not a reflection of you the individual. It is a series of misfortunate circumstances.
Are you headed in that direction? The following are a few signs and symptoms to be aware of ❤