Healthcare Burnout-Problem Description

Jessica D. Brossack

Grand Canyon University: HCA-699

November 5, 2019


Healthcare Burnout—Problem Description

In the nursing field, how does burnout in emergency room nurses compared to nurses in a general practitioner’s office affect the care and treatment of patients, and how can it be effectively alleviated?

What I want to explore is, is there a certain point in a career--i.e. number of years on the job, or level of stress in the specific discipline of nursing in which burnout is more likely to occur? Or, is it based more on the type of healthcare position a person holds?  Is a physician more likely to reach burnout before a nurse, or a pharmacist or an emergency medical technician (EMT)?  According to a 2013 Medscape report, healthcare burnout affects approximately 40% of healthcare workers, with an increase to 51% by 2017--a 25% increase in just 4 years (Reith, 2018).  

I'd like to also explore what causes that burnout by interviewing people from different disciplines within healthcare, and what they do to combat the symptoms.  Has the incidence of burnout caused any of those people to leave their positions, or the industry all together?  Do they feel it has affected their job performance?

When healthcare workers experience burnout, everyone is affected by it. The healthcare worker themselves, their families and coworkers, the patient, the facility they work for and the administration who has to triage the fallout and consequences of the burnout actions.

Burnout symptoms include exhaustion, cynicism, inefficiency, all brought on by stress (Reith, 2018).  Some of the way to alleviate this stress from burnout is to encourage and support employees taking breaks, supporting healthy habits such as staying hydrated and healthy eating, and exercise, maintaining a good work-life balance and meditation (Spahic, 2017). This is important because burnout can lead to decreased attention to detail, a laissez-faire attitude on the job or with patients and further lead to mistakes or fatalities occurring due to the contempt for the job.

The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of healthcare burnout and the effects it has on patient care as well as exploring methods of alleviating healthcare burnout. I plan on citing several sources, describing what burnout is, the symptoms, the effects it takes on the healthcare worker, their families, the patient and the facilities they work for as well as ways to help ease the effects, or possibly prevent it from the beginning. I will also include interviews from different people from different fields of healthcare to get their take on healthcare burnout, whether they’ve experienced it, and what they do, or have done, to relieve that stress.

As previously stated, and as will be reiterated, healthcare burnout is a real problem in the healthcare world due to the toll it takes on the healthcare worker and the people that tangentially suffer from the effects of the healthcare worker experiencing that burnout, especially the patient when the concern for protocols, quality care and concern for the patient are no longer evident in the care provided by the healthcare worker.


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Spahic, M. (2017, September 19). Reducing Health Care Burnout: Preventive Tips for

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Initial Reference List

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