Overtime and hospital staff burnout

In the current economy we are seeing many hospitals relying on their own perm staff to fill a lot more overtime hours than in the past. For some nurses and therapists this is a welcome boost to their paycheck, while for others it may be something they feel obligated as caregivers to do. No matter the circumstances it will eventually start to wear them out. There is plenty of research available showing the negative effects of too much overtime, everything from nurse burnout, to costs associated with nurse turnover, to putting patients at risk. So what can you do as a unit manager to help ease the effects of overtime on your staff?

Your ability to help them through hiring more nurses or therapists may be limited unless you can convince the financial decision makers of the savings that come with being adequately staffed. But there are things you can have an impact on.

Since you know that too much overtime is going to eventually lead to burnout, you will want to keep an eye on the signs of burnout among your staff. It is also important for you to avoid burnout yourself, so that you can be there for your staff when you sense that they are stressed and give them advice and tips for managing their stress. Below are some links that give you practical advice on how to spot and respond to you and your staff’s burnout.

Battling Burnout: Maintaining Enthusiasm in a Challenging Environment
StressedOutNurses.com
Times flies, but you don’t have to
Help staff handle stress by boosting resiliency
Nurse retention through meditation
Nursing Burnout Prevention
Why Emotions Matter: Age, Agitation, and Burnout Among Registered Nurses