Nurses and social workers experiences burnout when they are stressed because they take on more than they can bear either physically, psychologically or emotionally. It also varies according to individuals. Stress has been viewed as an occupational hazard. Nurses have the tendency of being anxious over decisions that need to be made, the number of patients who need to be attended to and the different responsibilities that are required in terms of the job description. Many nurses work twelve hour shifts which can be very demanding.
The term “burnout” was used by Freudenberger in 1974 and it reflects to the type of chronic stress that people experience in the helping profession. This can apply to those working in home health care, social work, nursing as well as family members that are caregivers. Ironically, many caregivers do not take care of themselves. There is a level of exhaustion that occurs that often makes it hard to replenish one's own energy.
Sometimes this stress results from not being able to balance work, family and children. This stress could lead to sickness when it is not properly managed. People that are stressed out can also end up calling in sick often and jeapordizing their job. However, due to the level of compassion that many nurses and social workers have, they often feel guilty if they do call in sick.
If adequate attention is paid to the environment where nurseries and social workers work, it would go a long way in reducing the stress such as people go through. There is often a lot of pressure for completing documentation that adds to the stress of client care.
It has also been discovered that the length of hours worked to also go a long way in making the job stressful. Nurses who work for 8hours undergo less stress than those who work for 12 hours. However, many people like the idea of having an extra day off during the week so this is a mixed situation.
Being able to do some chair yoga or meditation can be helpful during the day to reduce stress and focus inwards. This can work for many therapists that have their own offices, but for nurses can be more challenging due to lack of privacy.
Another area to look at is that many times nurses and social workers are also involved in being a caregiver in their personal lives. This can be with a parent or may be with a spouse that has physical or mental health issues. Having counseling oneself is an excellent way to help find out about the ways one handles stress and work on new solutions.