In the know: Recognizing the road to burnout

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, June 29, 2009

The long hours and demanding work of the nursing profession can often lead to stress and exhaustion. Review the following stages and determine where you are on the road to burnout:

  • Stage one: The honeymoon. This stage is relatively stress-free. Your energy is high. You are able to manage your workload on most days. Work is interesting and challenging. You look forward to going to work.
  • Stage two: The awakening. There is a mismatch between what you though the work would be and what it is really like. Your self-confidence starts to erode. Frustration begins to set in. You are focusing more on the negative aspects of your work instead of the positive aspects.
  • Stage three: Brownout. You are fatigued all the time. You see your productivity suffering, but you are too overwhelmed to do anything about it. You may be feeling irritable or apathetic.
  • Stage four: Burnout. You are emotionally exhausted. You lack self-confidence. Despair has set in.

If you are just beginning to experience some stress and fatigue, now is the time to be proactive.

Source: Adapted from Quick-E! Pro Time Management: A Guide for Nurses.

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