Tracey Gerrard /
Hidden Risks – Burnout Syndrome (BOS).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses faced several occupational stressors such as heavy workload, communicating with the patients, Families, Professionals as well as the extra work shifts which contribute to the risk of mental health and sleep. Nurses were also under high levels of pressure of being infected by COVID-19 and as a result spreading the coronavirus to their families, friends or colleagues.
Indeed, during the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses experienced unprecedented amounts of mental health problems, such as fear, anxiety, depression and psychological distress, it has been shown that Nurses tend to continue to undergo the job burnout, mental pressure, anxiety, and depression symptoms
By definition, burnout syndrome (BOS) refers to the experience of fatigue for extended periods of time and reduced levels of motivation and interest in the job, which lead to decreased job productivity. This is a result of too much effort in the workplace with limited opportunities for recovery. Known factors contributing to the high risk of job burnout include intensive patient care, high mortality rate, and inappropriate job conditions in terms of high workload coupled with lack of time to adequately address the patient’s needs.
Studies have shown that highly stressful jobs are more likely to cause job burnout (Embriaco et al. 2007). When the focus is on the nurses, job burnout may lead to less willingness to undertake leadership, lower quality of medical care, reduced satisfaction level of patients, increased level of healthcare-related infections, thus resulting in higher mortality rates among the patients, a high rate of absence and turnover among the Nurses, all of which is known to cause irrecoverable consequences for the healthcare sector (Bakker and Le Blanc 2005; Embriaco et al. 2007). Nurses are provided with limited time for recovery and rather experience job-related pressures (Dyrbye et al. 2019). Previous studies have further indicated that nurses suffering job burnout are more likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs and to look for opportunities to leave
Job burnout not only puts the individual’s health and wellbeing at risk, but also is associated with the frequency of medical errors and quality of the healthcare services. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to support and address the factors contributing to BOS to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the Healthcare sector as we move into the recovery period