Registered nurses are often called nurturers. Empathy and compassion are at the very heart of the nursing job role. Registered nurses’ prime function is to offer medical support treatment and encourage patients during their tough times, such as emotional, physical, and spiritual anguish.However, registered nurses nurture everyone, but who fosters the nurses?
On March 11, when WHO announced COVID-19 as a pandemic, the United States declared a national emergency on March 13. Because that time, the country’s medical and healthcare professionals, of which healthcare nurses involve the largest group with about 3.8 million registered nurses countrywide, have been standing at facilities to work around the clock and care for over 4.3 million people in the United States. Unfortunately, most of them tested positive for the virus to date, and that is why reinforcements for nurse is a must thing to do. Since the Covid-19 pandemic evolves every six months, these healthcare providers tend to experience mental and physical burnout.
However, seamless exposure to and internalization of people’s suffering can cause something else — compassion fatigue. Many reports have claimed to see burnout in healthcare workers during covid. It can be fatal & rob registered nurses’ ability to care for the patients or empathize.
An innate capacity of registered nurses is to foster and take on another’s anguish as if it is their own, and due to this nature, they may face compassion fatigue. To understand the term better, we have to look at each term separately. To possess empathy or the thorough awareness of people’s suffering and the willingness to do something to make it good is compassion. In contrast, fatigue is the utmost exhaustion caused by physical or mental strain or the state of being enfeebled under recurring stress. Compassion fatigue can also be called the impact of covid-19 on healthcare workers. It causes impotence to take care of and can negatively impact registered nurses’ well-being and overall health.
The government ran various campaigns for covid-19 training for healthcare workers and encouraged them to make the condition better.
More Than Burnout
As per the report of the American Institute for Stress, compassion fatigue and nurse burnout covid evince themselves in a variety of common ways, including emotional & mental exhaustion, alleviated interactions with patients and others (isolation), decreased sense of personal attainment or meaning in work, depersonalization (symptoms differ from actual causes) and physical tiredness.
Burnout is generally fallacious for compassion fatigue, and many researchers corroborate that burnout characteristics and triggers vary in significant ways. Amalgamate the new and old schools of viewpoints. Burnout is encountered by elevated workplace stipulation, interpersonal stressors, expanding healthcare expectations, scarcity of resources, and organizational policy causing decreased cynicism, caring, and ineffectiveness.
Approaches For Administering Compassion Fatigue & Burnout
Registered nurses are known for attempting to be strong and breathing up a front that says, ‘I’m all right,’ even though they are far from that.
When registered nurses encounter symptoms of burnout and compassion fatigue, there are a lot of personal interventions recommended that help them cope. These include:
- Work/life balance,
- Healthy nutrition,
- Making personal coping strategies,
- Taking time away for vacations or long weekends,
- Developing personal and professional support systems,
- Daily exercise,
- Attending to spiritual requirements,
- Partake in fun activities, hobbies, and pursuits and,
- Getting proper sleep.
Experts suggest many maneuvers that healthcare administrators and unit leaders can utilize to fight compassion fatigue and burnouts to an organizational extent. Here is how registered nurses can manage their burnout during covid-19:
Discuss It With Staff
If there is a discussion session on compassion fatigue and medical burnout, registered nurses should discuss their problems with fellow workers. These sessions educate registered nurses and other healthcare staff about flag signs and interventions.
Appreciate Staff Contributions
Unit leaders and organizational managers must identify and appreciate registered nurses and other healthcare for their empathetic care. Managers can do so in meetings or with an email, small note, or other gesture. This can also contribute to administering burnout and compassion fatigue during Covid-19.
Endorsed education and training about confining boundaries, ethical dilemmas, conflict resolution, and self-care address serious issues that can cause compassion fatigue and burnout during covid-19 can help registered nurses to administer the condition.
Registered nurses who have been caring for patients during tough times with the chronically ill, comprehensive care units, or people nearing death deserve a timeout. This is a time when registered nurses can go on a vacation or take a break (even only for a few minutes) to step away to reflect.
There are some more things that managers can do for registered nurses to avoid burnouts and compassion fatigue:
- Offer quiet and spacious rooms for staff.
- Introduce a buddy system to pair experienced and new nurses.
- Promote personal journaling.
- Give several chances to registered nurses to share tough experiences, to assist in processing grief and expressing compassion fatigue.
- Provide on-site counseling.
Registered nurses generally skip meals because of hectic work schedules, causing fatigue. Administrators and managers should promote healthy lifestyles and snacks to registered nurses and healthcare staff. It’s the responsibility of registered nurses to take care of themselves and consume healthy and nutritious food. Also, get involved in healthy activities such as daily walking and exercise.
Warning Signs & Repercussions
Burnouts and compassion fatigue cause two key consequences: improper performance and alleviated holistic health. It may also cause registered nurses to leave the profession. Registered nurses and other healthcare providers suffering from compassion fatigue may maneuver poor judgment, commit mistakes, less than prudent interactions with patients, reduce cultivation, and diminish the quality of care. They may experience physical ailments such as GI headaches and exhibit psychosocial qualities such as detachment, apathy, depression, and irritability. They may also be influenced by a lack of sleep, loss of hope, self-worth, and alterations in their spirituality and worldview.
If you are a registered nurse working in a hectic environment, consider following the aforementioned strategies to manage the burnout caused by the hectic schedule during Covid-19. However, if you are looking to switch your current facility, visit the official website of the I’kare Consulting Firm and get hired right away at a handsome salary package.