NURSE BURNOUT: THIRD PHASE OF NURSE BURNOUT
by Kourtney Govro
Have you ever been so frustrated with your work load that you say, “there are only so many hours in a day and I can only get done what I can get done”…..can you imagine a nurse saying that? Nurse Call creates a variable workload that is added to the all ready full task list of the Nurse. He or She has orders living in the EMR, documentation requirements, patient rounds, care coordination, medication administration, and more. They are air traffic control for everything going on with that patient during the time they are at the hospital, and held accountable for those activities. They don’t get the option to say – “my day is too full” and just stop. Day in and day out they experience a pace that would stun many of the US workforce. Yet, they show up.
As we have worked through these topics and I have thought about my son’s future career, for him, this is the level that scares me the most. Burnout is the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness in a situation.1 According to the World Health Organization, Nurse Burnout is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism; reduced professional efficacy.2
I read a report that says 62% of hospitals have job openings for a nurse…..but honestly, every hospital I talk to is hiring. While I appreciate the WHOs definition – I would sum it up by saying “done.” When a nurse reaches this phase, is there a way back? Can their hearts and minds be recovered? I don’t believe that technology has all the answers to solve for this issue. There are incredibly big obstacles to overcome ranging from liability to legality of care and responsibility of the nurse. There are leadership issues from health systems and hospitals in how nurses are treated. There is compassion fatigue and frankly the next generation is not quite as tough as the last. There is simply the fact that patients conditions are more complex, expectations are larger, and people can just be difficult.
We will say this – we are committed to making things better for nurses today and tomorrow.
Kourtney Govro has over 20 years of experience in the nurse call business. At just 6 years old she was introduced to the idea when her father became a nurse call distributor. Since then, her love for transforming the nurse call industry has continued to grow. Leading her to start her own successful company, Sphere3, a consulting company that supported hospitals with decisions around leveraging technology to transform the care environment. Critical Alert acquired Sphere3 in 2019 and Kourtney joined the team as a Strategic Advisor.