Nurse Burnout Analysis

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The shortage of nurses-who compose the majority of health care professionals in the U.S.-is one of the ongoing issues that has taken the healthcare system by storm. As described by American Nurses Association, the shortage is complex and has multiple factors that contribute to the gradually concerning issue such as “fewer nurses entering the workforce, acute nursing shortages in certain geographic areas; and a shortage of nurses adequately prepared to meet certain areas of patient need in a changing healthcare environment” (“Strategies,” 2001, p. 1). In correlation to the shortage seen today, there is also an interrelation with nurse burnouts. According to McHugh (2011, p. 203), burnout is common in human service occupations such as nursing …show more content…
Unlike today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics revealed that during 1992 and 1997 there was a drop in the demand for nurses (“Strategies,” 2001, p. 1). Currently, the demand of nurses have increased; yet, the supply to meet the high demands is decreasing as the demographics of nurses have changed from relatively young nurses to aging nurses and nursing faculty. The calculated “average age of working nurses in the United States is 42,” according to The New York Times (Crow, 2001, p.2). In addition to the growing aging nursing workforce, only 10% of the total nurses population are less than 30 years old (“Strategies,” 2001, p.2). This transition of experienced to inexperienced nurses affects the health care workforce as there will be an accumulation of new struggles for the upcoming nurse professionals to face without the guidance of experienced nurses. Rushton, a professor of bioethics with joint appointment in the School of Nursing at John Hopkins, sees first hand the burnout of once passionate new nurses. When Rushton say the nurses two years later, she saw how depleted and burned out they were to the point where they their passion and commitment for the profession disintegrated (Crow, 2001, p. …show more content…
The aspect that explains how direct patient care contributes to a higher chance of nurse burnout is that the nurses have to engage with difficult ethical situations that emotionally drain them as well as having a connection with the patient. In the study that was conducted by McHugh and his colleagues, they discovered that “a substantial proportion of bedside nurses in hospitals and nursing homes-the primary caregivers for patients in greatest need-reported being burned out, dissatisfied with their jobs, and dissatisfied with their employee benefits” (McHugh 2011, Pg. 205). From the study, the findings revealed that nurses who worked directly with patients in either hospitals or nursing homes experienced a higher burnout compared to nurses who were not in direct patient care such as nurse managers. Also, the challenges of direct patient care is that “the pace is such that one troublesome patient can set back a nurse for hours, physically and emotionally” (Crow, 2001, p.1). In relation of the high rate of workload that these nurses encounter, ethics of whether a patient’s care is actually beneficial is sometimes ignored by higher leveled physicians due to conveniences of not upsetting the patient and this puts nurses in high stress of whether to do the right thing which ultimately leads to burnout (Der Bedrosian 2015,

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