Despite the fact that they cope with heavy patient loads and hazards like sharps injuries, MSDs and workplace violence, nurses receive no training on stress management and burnout prevention.
That, says Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN, is leading to an “all-time high” in burnout levels in the nursing profession that is exacerbating the nursing shortage and affecting the nation’s health care.
"Nurses are often the canary in the coal mine of medicine and that has to change,” said Scala.”The most successful healthcare organizations in the years ahead will be those who take excellent care of their providers and staff.
Scala has written what she calls a "field manual" to help her fellow nurses – in all specialties – lower their stress levels, balance their work life with their personal life and enjoy their career.
Scala said the tools she describes in "Stop Nurse Burnout – What to Do When Working Harder Isn't Working" were tested on hundreds of practicing nurses. They include a single-breath mindfulness technique, fresh approaches to dealing with Electronic Medical Records, how to lead a maximally effective team huddle and a 20 minute life scheduling technique that builds life balance one week at a time.
"Stop Nurse Burnout" also covers burnout basics: its causes, effects and complications.
Scala has written extensively on burnout prevention, leadership and work life balance for NurseTogether.com, ScrubsMag.com, Working Nurse magazine, and Reflections on Nursing Leadership.