A major survey by Nursing Times found that eight out of 10 nurses feel they are under more pressure at work than they were 12 months ago, with seven out of 10 suffering the side-effects of work-related stress resulting in physical or mental health problems. More than eight out of 10 nurses say their team is short-staffed at least once a week; only 18 percent of nurses work their usual or allotted hours. Nearly 20 percent work an extra six to 10 extra hours a week.
In a recent blog, Dr. Sanjay Gupta writes: “Work schedules and insufficient staffing are among the factors driving many nurses to leave the profession. American nurses often put in 12-hour shifts over the course of a three-day week. Research found nurses who worked shifts longer than eight to nine hours were two-and-a-half times more likely to experience burnout.” He mentions a new study that suggests that nurses’ burnout risk may be related to what initially attracted them to the profession in the first place. Researchers at the University of Akron in Ohio surveyed more than 700 nurses and found that the RNs who are motivated more by the desire to help others, rather than by enjoyment of the work, were more likely to burn out.
These statistics sadden me.