February 24, 2021

How Nurse Burnout Affects Patient Care

Nurses dedicate their lives to helping others, caring in a way that often creates a stressful environment — both physically and emotionally. At the same time, their needs can be overlooked. Committed nurses all too often experience burnout, which can have an impact on their lives, and their patients’ lives as well.

The Unfortunate Reality of Nurse Burnout

Overworked nurses often don’t realize their own health is at risk. As one would expect, there’s a direct correlation between nurse burnout and its effect on the quality of patient care.

In fact, according to the CFNU, for every additional patient added onto an average nursing workload, the rate of patient mortality increases by 7 percent. That number is startling and showcases a true cause-and-effect relationship.

This link has been reported within numerous studies, including one key study, published in “Research and Nursing Health.” While studying 53,846 nurses across six countries, researchers discovered that higher levels of caregiver burnout were significantly associated with lower quality of care. The researchers suggested that for hospitals to improve care, they must likewise improve nurse wellness.

This strategy makes sense, but how can it be addressed? What is currently being done?

Believe it or not, positive leadership may be a proactive measure against nurse burnout. Research found that a shocking 66 percent of new nurse graduates experienced severe burnout. More importantly, this effect was due to a lack of supervisor support, as well as factors such as unmanageable workloads and turnover intentions.

Although psychological capital plays a role among nurses, leadership is one of the most important areas to address. Leaders have the ability to shape the work environment of their employees and need to ensure ideal working conditions. If nurses are unhappy and suffering from burnout, their performance will decline and so will patient health.

At the end of the day, the majority of nurses are not given the proper tools; their voices aren’t being heard, and their needs aren’t being met.

When nurses are immersed in a positive work environment, where they feel as though they matter, positive effects will follow. By evaluating the well-being of nurses, institutions can take appropriate action before burnout occurs. This pro-active behavior not only allows hospitals to track the health of their workers, but it also provide immediate self-awareness.

Nurses’ happiness index was the focus of another study, published in “PLoS One.” Of the 206 registered nurses who took part, overall happiness was considered to be moderate. The researchers concluded that when proper interventions are implemented, the well-being of nurses will improve and be reflected in their level of motivation and overall performance.

Once again, it makes sense — but how can institutions to improve nurse well-being and overall patient care? Is there a simple and effective tool?

The Nurses’ Well-Being Index

By focusing on the needs of nurses and their patients, the Well-Being Index is a solution. This online, self-assessment tool highlights multiple dimensions of distress, including factors such as fatigue and anxiety. Nurses can easily create an account, where they will provide both professional and basic demographic information.

Developed by Mayo Clinic, a well-respected medical practice and research group, this tool provides instant and personalized feedback. Practical resources are then offered based on potential risk factors. In fact, organizations and institutions can customize this tool based on their needs and local resources.

Currently used by 35,000 medical professionals, the Well-Being Index can be tailored and customized, allowing for the best possible outcome. Why not try a free demo for yourself? You can test this software as a medical student or a physician, assure in the knowledge that these indexes have been validated, impacting both healthcare professionals and their patients.

Access your free Well-Being Index demo today!

ALSO: Everything You NEED to Know About Nurse Burnout 

Well-Being Index Team

The Well-Being Index team is made up of thought leaders, healthcare associates, technology experts, and content creators dedicated to improving well-being by equipping organizations with the tools and data needed to Go Beyond Burnout.