Burnout in Nursing Response


Question Description

Burnout is when a person experiences physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and is unable to cope. Anyone can be affected by burnout, because it is blind to age, sex, color, and creed (Manning & Curtis, 2015). Each individual has some sort of stressors in their life. Some are better at dealing with and managing than others.

Joe in “We Buried Joe Today” and the ambulance attendant in “A Tragic Story” were victims of burnout. Quite extreme examples of how it is a life or death subject. Extreme stress and pressures bottled up coupled with poor coping mechanisms are detrimental to your physical and mental health. Joe died of a heart attack and the ambulance attendant failed to provide life saving measures on a drunk man.

I have witnessed this in the nursing profession, specifically in the ER. Due to the misuse (using the ER for non urgent means), high demand, narcotic abuse, etc depersonalisation occurs. This is when the healthcare workers develop negative cynical attitudes and feelings about their patients (Patrick & Lavery, 2007). Recently when I shadowed in the ER I don't know how many eye rolls I saw and/or sighs I heard when patient's presented. I remember thinking "do you want to see anyone here?!". The nurses, techs, and doctors were so jaded to everything that presented. A middle-age patient's hip pain wasn't real or acute because she had a previous diagnosis of arthritis and a young child's fever wasn't high enough to be emergent. Even the man with an abnormal heart rate of 160 awaiting cardioversion seemed mundane. Depersonalization is more common than we think. But how do we avoid or how can we work towards changing it?

I agree with the list as being careers with high burnout potential; however, I don’t agree with labeling them as “worst to best”. Each category has their own type of stress. Fast food workers deal with short staffing, low wages, and monotonous tasks (White, 2019). It can be categorized as being unskilled and not as respected as doctors or policemen. The burnout associated with these type of unskilled labor jobs are the day-to-day demands and physical labor. There can be a lot of stress caused by this type of work, but it is due to the many small tasks built up over the day. Spiritual fatigue is also large contribution to burnout within the fast-food industry. Working in fast-food isn’t a well respected career; no one really wants to do this kind of work they do it because they have to or have no other options. The lack of passion and meaning results in unhappiness and pessimism (Manning & Curtis, 2015).

On the other hand, jobs such as doctors and policemen or other skilled professions may not encounter the same level of physical exertion or the large number of interactions with others as a fast food worker. Their stress and burnout is largely associated with the weight of their duties and the dependency others have on them. These careers are well-respected and rewarding, resulting in less spiritual fatigue.

Job burnout can be prevented with the right self-understanding and support of loved ones. It is so important to know that you are never alone!


Patrick, K., & Lavery, JF. (2007). Burnout in nursing. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 24(3), 43–48. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.chamberlainuniversity...

Manning, G., & Curtis, K. (2015). The Art of Leadership. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill

White, M.G., (2019) Which Professionals Are Prone to Burnout? Retrieved from https://stress.lovetoknow.com/Which_Professionals_...

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School: Rice University

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Burnout in Nursing
Burnout is a condition in which an individual feels physical fatigue or becomes
emotionally exhausted that he or she cannot co...

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