If you have worked 12 hour shifts long enough, you begin to convince yourself that you really do not require more than a few hours of sleep to function. Perhaps your plan is to “catch up” on your days off. The fact is, a tired nurse can be a dangerous nurse. The American Nurse’s Association ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN states, “research shows that prolonged work hours can hinder a nurse’s performance and have negative impacts on patients’ safety.” “We’re concerned not only with greater likelihood for errors, diminished problem solving, slower reaction time and other performance deficits related to fatigue, but also with dangers posed to nurses’ own health.” The following are a few tips for the nurse insomniac….
Happy Tuesday! In this week’s post for Mighty Nurse, I talk about the importance of the little things in nursing. It’s basic nursing, but a critical reminder in the care of our patients ❤ Have a great week!!!
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 ❤
Wow, San Francisco!! The city where I found my heart, the city of love, now the city of mandated, paid maternity leave!!!!! While other cities including New York and New Jersey offer paid maternity leave, this is the first law mandating the employer pay both maternity and paternity leave (just as important). American women have adapted to going back to work as early as six weeks after birth and that is they work for a “generous” employer. While six weeks is far too early to separate a new mother and infant, it is a step in the right direction. Those first six weeks are physically and emotionally demanding for a new mom. Confronted with healing, lack of sleep, learning to breastfeed, and transitioning into this selfless roll, it is about time the U.S. steps up and recognizes. The postpartum period stretches well beyond six weeks, but the reality is something is better than nothing. I hope this is just the beginning!!!