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Coping with Burnout

I realized increased burnout among nurses at my care facilities and am trying to help on this issue. The burnout has created high nursing turnover and low job retention - big time nursing shortage issue nowadays. Although any occupations can have the potential for burnout, especially health care workers like physicians, nurses and nursing assistants, etc are much more vulnerable to that due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr.Parmar, a psychiatrist, wrote a good article about burnout - Navigating COVID-19’s Lessons on Burnout.( )

Here are some of his advice to counteract burnout.

​ How Employees Can Counteract Burnout

-Know that your health and wellbeing are always the highest priority. -Assess your situation at work or home and create flexible and realistic goals for your day. Give yourself credit for every task you accomplish, and know that it is OK to not complete everything on the list. -Perfection is not the goal. Instead, practice self-compassion, connect with family and friends and call upon your social network for support and guidance, whether virtually or in-person. -Pay attention to your basic necessities. Eat timely and balanced meals, drink adequate water, and get proper sleep. -Exercise on a regular basis. -Carve out time for relaxation, practice mindfulness daily. -Avoid negative coping measures such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and illicit substances. -Seek professional help if symptoms worsen or fail to remit with the above measures within a reasonable time frame.

At work:

-Employees may feel intimidated by approaching a supervisor to discuss work-life balance. Consider talking first with a trusted friend or colleague to formulate your thoughts.

-Talk to your supervisor and ask to reduce your workload or create a more flexible schedule. Try to offer solutions to mitigate the burnout.

-Create boundaries at work and learn the art of saying no. Stay organized by assigning timelines to tasks and schedule things accordingly

-Take regular breaks at work. Make sure you have a workspace that is ergonomically fitted for you.

-Stay connected with colleagues outside of work, even if it is through casual virtual meetups. Enlist the help of coworkers on projects when you are overwhelmed with other responsibilities.

-Take advantage of counseling and other support programs offered through employee assistance programs.

Dr.Ed Ellison did a nice Ted talk about physician burnout.

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