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Running head: PREVENTION & REDUCTION OF BURNOUT SYNDROME IN CRITICAL CARE NURSES THROUGH EDUCATION The Prevention & Reduction of Burnout Syndrome in Critical Care Nurses Through Education and Intervention Jane Doe Grand Canyon University Professional Capstone Barbara Pridgen
Prevention & Reduction of Burnout Syndrome in Critical Care Nurses The Prevention & Reduction of Burnout Syndrome in Critical Care Nurses Through Education and Intervention Background It takes a special kind of person to dedicate their lives to the service of others and those special people are nurses. When caring for others in high stress situations, it can take a physical and emotional toll on those providing care. The term “burnout” was devised by Freudenberger to describe a worker’s response to prolonged exposure to physical or emotional stressors when working in an occupation that involves direct interaction with people (Jennings, 2008). Of those occupations, nursing is vulnerable to the highest risk of burnout. Burnout syndrome is often expressed as emotional fatigue, depersonalization with patients, and a depleted sense of accomplishment (Maslach, 1986). Due to the demanding nature of the profession, nurses are susceptible to experiencing burnout at some point in their careers, but those that work in critical care areas tend to experience it at a higher rate due to the intense setting in which they work. Problem statement Burnout is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s nursing workforce due to the evolving role of the nurse, increased responsibilities, decreased resources related to increasing health care costs, and technological advances (Jennings, 2008). It negatively impacts nurses, patients, and organizations. In nurses, it can lead to a decline in physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Physically, nurses experiencing burnout can suffer from headaches, exhaustion, insomnia, headaches, irritability, stomach upset, and fluctuations in weight (Fink, n.d.). Emotionally, nurses can inadvertently take in the trauma, angst, and suffering being experienced by the patient which results in compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue is just one factor of burnout (Henry, 2014). In patients, it can lead to a lower standard of care and poor patient outcomes, specifically,
Prevention & Reduction of Burnout Syndrome in Critical Care Nurses those related to patient safety (Vahey, Aiken, Sloane, Clarke, & Vargas, 2004). For organizations, the financial implications can be devastating as the turnover in nursing staff is high and patient satisfaction is low; both parties opting to go to another facility with greater resources. It also contributes to the nursing shortage as some nurses choose to leave the profession altogether (Henry, 2014). Purpose of the Change Proposal The purpose of this change proposal is to identify burnout amongst critical care nurses by providing education to nurses and clinical leadership on the signs and symptoms of burnout syndrome. By promoting emotional self-awareness amongst nurses and educating clinical

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