Problem or Issue Related to Practice
The health care environment is plagued by the problem of nursing burnout. Nursing burnout encompasses physical, mental and emotional stress and is largely attributed to chronic overwork and lack of job fulfillment among nurses. Nursing burnout is a problem that is directly related to the practice of nursing in any healthcare organization.
Explanation of Problem/Issue
Nurses operate in a high-pressure environment where they are always forced to make life or death decisions. The hospital environment, upon which nurses operate, is characterized by numerous demanding patients, the mortality of patients and long working hours. Moreover, critical patients in need of specialized care and attention also add to the stress that nurses have to face in their day to day operations. According to Blazey (2016), work-related stress is the leading cause of nursing burnout world over. According to Zhang et al. (2014), nursing burnout is a salient problem that plagues the modern nursing industry and therefore more research should be directed at providing solutions for it.
Investigation of The Problem or Issue
Burnout in nurses is largely caused by work-related issues that nurses face in their day to day operations. Nurses have to deal with numerous death cases in hospitals daily and this harms their emotions and mental capabilities. In addition to stressful working environments research also points towards an individual personality as a major cause of nursing burnout (Blazey, 2016). Nursing is a profession that involves teamwork and co-operation to meet its objectives. According to Zhang et al. (2014), the lack of independence and the ever-present pressure on nurses to meet myriad social expectations also leads to burnout.
Evidence to Substantiate the Problem
Nursing burnout is a widespread problem that affects the practice of nursing and quality levels of nursing not only in the country but also globally. According to Zhang et al. (2014), nurses in all countries in the world are at a high risk of burnout and job dissatisfaction. A study done by Van Bogaert et al. (2017) held that an average of 57 percent of nurses in every hospital experience the problem of nursing burnout which in turn adversely affects their work-performance and job delivery. In the United States alone more than half of nurses employed in the hospitals in America have contemplated resigning due to low levels of job dissatisfaction and burnout (Zhang et al., 2014). The above problem points out the negative impact of nursing burnout and how widespread the problem is.
Analysis of State of The Situation
Numerous current data point out the devastating consequences of nursing burnout and its effects on healthcare practice. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Kronos Inc., more than eighty percent of nurses feel fatigued by their work while another sixty percent of nurses are currently exhibiting symptoms of burnout (Van Bogaert et al., 2017). Moreover, the survey found out that more than ninety percent of the nurses held the view that nursing as a profession had a poor work-life balance and therefore more cases of nursing burnout (Van Bogaert et al., 2017). Lastly, more than ten percent of the nurses surveyed admitted to making mistakes in their workplaces due to fatigue.
Areas Contributing to The Problem
Nursing burnout is contributed to by numerous factors that work in tandem to ply more stress on nurses in their daily activities. The first problem that significantly leads to nursing burnout is the long working hours of which nurses are subjected. According to Van Bogaert et al. (2017), numerous hospitals are inundated with more work in terms of patients than they can handle as they are largely under-staffed. Zhang et al. (2014) argue that the understaffing of hospitals is due to the ever-shrinking number of openings in nursing schools, therefore, widening the gap between the supply and demand for skilled nurses. Most nurses are always subjected to long shifts of twelve or more hours that lead to their physical exhaustion and them being emotionally overwhelmed. Second, the issue of overwhelming workloads and unrealistic objectives set for nurses in healthcare facilities also adds to the problem of nursing burnout. Van Bogaert et al. (2017) argue that more than eighty percent of nurses feel that they have to deal with way too many patients and tasks and this leads to their burnout. Nursing is both physically and mentally demanding and therefore nurses should not be given overwhelming workloads.
Proposed Solution or Innovation for Problem
Nursing burnout in the healthcare profession needs to be solved to deal with its insidious effects. Researchers such as McHugh & Ma (2014) and Kuzmanovich (2017) argue that nursing burnout can be solved by the improvement of workplace conditions and environment for nurses in addition to physician-directed methods such as cognitive-behavioral techniques training of individual nurses. However, I propose that the main intervention in dealing with the problem of nursing burnout should be aimed at improving hospital and healthcare facilities staffing.
Justification for Proposed Solution
According to McHugh & Ma (2014), nurses that operated in hospitals with better staffing and a lower nurse to patient ratio had higher rates of job satisfaction and lower cases of nursing burnout. Proper staffing of hospitals and health care facilities will also reduce the amount of workload given to individual nurses therefore further reducing the number of cases of nursing burnout in the nursing profession. Increasing the number of nurses employed in respective hospitals and healthcare facilities will lead to a reduction in the nurse to patient ratio which is key to an increase in nurses’ productivity and quality of nursing services provided in the respective hospitals.
Resources to Implement Proposed Solution
Better staffing of hospitals and healthcare facilities requires resources. On a national scale, the government through the relevant ministry of public health will have to provide the necessary funds needed to hire more nurses by hospitals and health centers. This will involve increasing the budgetary allocations for public hospitals to enable them to hire the required number of nurses. According to Blazey (2016), the John Hopkins Hospital saved over $22, 000 per nurse when it rolled out its Resiliency In Stressful Events (RISE) program that was aimed at dealing with nursing burnout in the hospital. This provides a good practical example of the cost-benefit advantages that the solution to better staffing poses to the healthcare sector as a whole.
Timeline for Implementation
Implementation of the solution of increasing staffing in hospitals and healthcare facilities is a long-term plan. The timeline of the implementation process of the proper staffing of hospitals will be ten years. This will allow for the gradual incorporation of new staff into hospitals and healthcare facilities in a controlled and regulated manner to ensure that high nursing standards are maintained.
Importance of Each Key Stakeholder or Partner
The stakeholders that will be involved in the implementation of the recommendation regarding better staffing of hospitals will include nurses, doctors, and the hospital administration. Since an increase in the number of nurses in the hospitals will require huge financial input the government and hospital administration will also have to be involved as a key stakeholder in the implementation process. The nurses and doctors will be of importance in providing the necessary guidance to the newly recruited nursing staff.
Summary of Engagement with Stakeholders
The government and hospital administration being key stakeholders to the process bought into the ten-year timeline provided in the proposal and promised to finance the recruitment of additional nurses. The nurses and doctors were more than positive to welcome the new staff into the field of nursing and promised to provide the necessary guidance to them.
Intention to Work with Stakeholders
To achieve the success of the implementation of the proposed solution the stakeholders will have to pull together and work in co-operation. The government will provide the funds necessary for hiring the new staff, the hospital administration will coordinate the hiring process and ensure that a conducive working environment is created for the new nurses. The doctors and nurses will ensure that the new nurses are smoothly incorporated into the hospitals’ operations. I intend to co-ordinate the functions of every stakeholder and supervise their functions to ensure maximum compliance with the requisite regulations and achievement of the target objective.
Implementation of Proposed Solution
Better staffing of hospitals will be implemented through the recruitment of new nurses to reduce the patient-nurse ratio in hospitals. The process of recruitment and the ultimate goal of reducing the number of cases of nursing burnout will be evaluated through the use of periodical surveys to check their effectiveness.
Fulfillment of Roles
As a scientist I was able to perform research, interpreting and applying the found scientific evidence in this proposal which is aimed at improving the level of healthcare given to patients.
As a detective, I was able to identify the subtle changes and deviations in the quality of nursing and healthcare issued from the expected health patterns required of hospitals. Those deviations are what informed my writing of this proposal.
Manager of the Healing Environment
As a manager of the healing environment, I had to respond to the unpredictability of the hospital environment with the flexibility and decisiveness requisite of a manager
Blazey, H. (2016, Oct .10). Nine Strategies for Alleviating Nurse Burnout; Reducing stress benefits caregivers and their patients. Consult QD. Retrieved from https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/nine-strategies-alleviating-nurse-burnout/
McHugh, M. D., & Ma, C. (2014). Wage, work environment, and staffing: effects on nurse outcomes. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 15(3-4), 72-80.
Van Bogaert, P., Peremans, L., Van Heusden, D., Verspuy, M., Kureckova, V., Van de Cruys, Z., & Franck, E. (2017). Predictors of burnout, work engagement and nurse-reported job outcomes and quality of care: a mixed-method study. BMC Nursing, 16(1), 5.
Zhang, L. F., You, L. M., Liu, K., Zheng, J., Fang, J. B., Lu, M. M., & Wu, X. (2014). The association of the Chinese hospital work environment with nurse burnout, job satisfaction, and intention to leave. Nursing Outlook, 62(2), 128-137.