Stress in the workplace is globally considered a risk factor for worker’s health and safety
Stress in the workplace is globally considered a risk factor for worker’s health and safety. in specific, healthcare facilities working condition are constantly changeable and are increasingly become demanding and stressful. Healthcare workers are at high risk of experiencing severe distress and burnout. Burnout is a term used “burnout is a psychological syndrome of chronic exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy, and is experienced as a prolonged response to chronic stressors in the workplace.” (Portoghese, 2014) Some individuals experienced burnout from various angles and one can be work-related stress. The issue of employee burnout is tangled up in the issues of staff shortages and turnover. Burnout is caused in part by staffing shortages, and it has a compounding effect on employee turnover. In addition, burnout has a negative impact on both patient care and patient safety, as emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion leaves providers (doctors and nurse practitioners included) unable to perform their best. Which in turn may affect hospital outcome such as quality and safety of provided care. In this thesis, the topic should be explored from a strategic and practical perspective. How does this topic relate specifically to healthcare organizations and what are strategies employers use to manage it? What are the considerations, risks, barriers and potential outcomes? Implications? How would you recommend managers best manage the issue?
Strategic and Practical Perspective
Employee burnout is a common occurrence, but it is one that companies tend to treat as a management or personal issue rather than a broader organizational challenge. Work overload is a major source of exhaustion that, in turn, is the root of burnout, representing the basic individual stress component of burnout. Because it can be a chronic in nature, affecting both the health and performance of employees at all levels of organizations, prevention strategies are considered the most effective approach for addressing workplace burnout. Organizations do not see the employee burnout as significant as their other endangers. The main reasons companies have high employee burnout rates are; “excessive collaboration, weak time management disciplines, and a tendency to overload the most capable with too much work.” (Garton, 2017). These reasons not only drain employees time to complete complex tasks but also take the ideal time that is needed for restoration. Burnout is also driven by multitasking work situations which can cause mental exhaustion and counterproductive as being doing multiple tasks at one time. According to Microsoft study, “it takes an average of 15 minutes to return to an important project after an email interruption.” (Garton, 2017) Therefore, the mental exhaustion, psychological health and safety tiredness, fatigues, and many other symptoms are the sign of employee burnout.
Strategies Employers Use to Manage Healthcare Burnout
Management is responsible to implement or prevent workplace burnout in many factors. The first strategy which the management should implement is by enforcing reasonable work hours, including, if necessary, sending employees without good boundaries home at the end of their regular work day. In the healthcare field by providing clear expectations for all employees and obtaining confirmation that each employee understands those expectations. By reducing workers’ workload when job resources are limited can pose major challenges to health care managers to be able to perform their duty. According to Portoghese, “health care managers may improve workers’ sense of control by promoting their autonomy in the workplace. In fact, job autonomy is considered an important coping strategy for decreasing job strain.” Moreover, an interesting avenue for future research is an investigation into the contagious nature of burnout by considering the workplace related crossover effect among health care professionals in a multilevel research design. Lastly, healthcare managers should devise strategies aimed at reducing worker’s workload and increasing their sense of control.
Employee burnout may be considered under certain circumstances. For instance, when there are difficulties to hire new employees due to economic and regulatory constraints, managers can provisionally reduce the workload by providing the employee with a flexible schedule such as a floating workforce specifically nurses. At the time of emergency in the ED, there might be pressure for the management to use the man force they have at the time. Unless it is continuous burnout employees may consider the high-stress environment to provide services by taking away their comfort. At the moment like that management have to make sure the employees have the necessary resources to meet expectations; on the other hand, employees have to understand the value and goals of the organization.
Risks, Barriers, and Potential Outcomes
In the healthcare field, the consequences of burnout can cause an immense risk to others in the form of workplace injuries and accidents, beyond the impact on individual workers health. In the healthcare center, the employee burnout mostly reflected on nurses and nurse assistants. According to surveys by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “there are more than 35,000 back and other injuries among nursing employees every year, severe enough that they have to miss work.” Most importantly it affects the performance and precision of their job. If the health providers(employees) affects themselves due to a high-stress working environment they are at the high risk of experiencing severe distress, burnout, and both mental and physical illness. This will affect the hospital outcomes, such as the quantity of care provided by the organizations. Based on the study “Burnout among health care workers, mainly medical staff, was becoming an occupational hazard, with its rate reaching between 25% and 75% in some clinical specialties. Furthermore, it was reported that among the sources of occupational illnesses, burnout represents 8% of the cases of occupational illnesses.” (Portoghese, 2014) As this being said, for the safety of the employees and for the one who seeks the needs, the situation wouldn’t be fair for both either to provide or to receive the care.
There are several implications of stress and worker burnout on the employee which can affect the short and long-term performance of an employee. The consequences of job burnout can lead an employee to a serious health complication if they don’t address the symptoms as quickly as possible. In addition, employees who experience burnout may have a significant loss of confidence in their overall competency because of the symptoms they may experience. Knowing the consequences of employee burnout managers and employees should evaluate and consider the option without undermining their health.
Managers Best Manage the Issue
As being a manager should devise strategies aimed at reducing workers’ workload and increasing their sense of control. To do that there have to be a controlled and organized work environment which let the manager focus on their employees. To lower the burnout managers should be clear about which activity requires the highest standards and when it is okay to lower the bar and still meet patient satisfaction. Furthermore, intervention programs should be aimed at reducing workers’ experience of stressors and to lower the risk of burnout. To control the risk of burnout health care managers should devise strategies aimed at reducing workers workload and increasing their sense of control. In addition, throughout the work day adjusting physical activity room and encouraging employees to take breaks away from the environment will reduce the cause of burnout.
As I mentioned above any work environment can have stressful aspects that can negatively affect the employers’ performance and may lead to burnout. By knowing the cause and risks healthcare managers can reduce the implication that can happen to their employees. By increasing awareness of burnout and the effect on vulnerable populations in receiving culturally competent care. Healthcare managers can improve the work environment and employee satisfaction through adequate training and orientation appropriate to the workload. Most times when employees are burnout their commitment at the job may begin to weaken and they may lose satisfaction. Moreover, employee burnout creates an occupational hazard and resource allocation (man force). It also creates workplace stress which leads to burnout and that may lead to a negative impact on both patient care and patient safety. The care they receive at the healthcare centers becomes frustrated and creates professional isolation or loss of motivation with the caregivers. The doctor-patient or nurse-patient relationship will dwindle and creates a very not welcoming environment for the patients. Therefore, the healthcare facilities and management have to make sure their employees are taking care of to be able to provide patient satisfaction and better patient outcomes.