Nurse burnout has become an increasingly popular topic, and for good reason. Conditions for nurses need to improve. Studies have demonstrated how detrimental poor staffing ratios can be for both patients and nurses alike. Patients are more at-risk for negative outcomes, while nurses experience the kind of routine stress that can ultimately result in burnout.
What exactly is nurse burnout? It’s that fatigue nurses start getting just hours into a 12-hour shift. It’s a helpless feeling nurses keep tucked inside when they can’t get the support they need from their charge nurse or supervisor. It’s a culmination of negativity that can chase nurses from the profession.
But the nature of nursing lends itself to burnout in general, which emphasizes the need for improved conditions. Nurses encounter people who are very sick and sometimes helpless on a daily basis. It’s a lot to weigh on any one person’s conscience. When you pile unsafe and tumultuous working conditions on-top of an already stressful profession, the concept of nurse burnout seems too ordinary.
Take Doctor Thomas Paine’s observation from the ER room where he’s seen countless nurses leave the OR:
In almost a decade at my current job in a busy suburban ED, I have watched countless talented and experienced ER nurses come and go. At first, I asked them why they were leaving. Now, I ask them why they stayed as long as they did.
This shouldn’t be the norm, not for a demographic of professionals providing roughly 90 percent of the world’s healthcare. People need nurses to remain happy and engaged. The rise of nurse burnout illustrates we’re trending in the wrong direction.
But not all nurses are dealing with the usual pains of nursing in a hospital setting. Nurses with a few years of experience can immediately change their forecast by travel nursing instead.
Because of many factors, mainly the nursing shortage and the silver tsunami, the demand for travel nurses has reached a 20-year high. There simply aren’t enough nurses to meet demand. And until the United States figures out a way to both address its perpetual nursing shortage and improve conditions for full-time staff, nurses do not have to tolerate unfavorable working conditions.
If you’re dealing with inner-hospital politics, nurse bullying, poor staffing ratios or unhelpful supervisors, you do not have to accept these conditions as normal. As a nurse, your talents are far too in-demand to settle for anything less than an optimal work environment. There’s a reason why travel nurses experience higher job satisfaction than their full-time counterparts.
Traveling may seem like a leap, especially if you’re hesitant to leave your home, or not very outgoing in general. But many nurses like you have decided to try traveling in lieu of their full-time hospital, for a variety of reasons. Experience what life is like 13 weeks at a time!