Burnout is a real thing. It is something you can experience after working at 100% capacity for too long without taking time yourself to recharge. In travel nursing, it can be very easy to achieve burnout. With double shifts being common, traveling, in general, being exhausting, and the rigor of daily duties as a healthcare traveler, it’s easy to see why burnout can happen so easily.
For some, burnout comes at a cost and can make you lose your edge for a time. This can be dangerous in travel nursing for yourself and your patients. This is because as you travel, you could be putting yourself at risk if you are not up to paying attention to what is going on around you. It can also be dangerous for your patients when you are caring for them because you could give them an incorrect dosage and cause harm.
So how can we combat this? How can we keep burnout at bay so that we can continue functioning in the best way we know how? Let us take a look.
As is true in many situations, the first step to combatting the problem of burnout is to recognize what it is and if you have it. The three main symptoms of burnout are increased cynicism, emotional and physical exhaustion, and reduced personal accomplishments. These symptoms can manifest themselves differently in each person, but the root remains the same. Often, the loved ones of someone experiencing burnout will be able to assist in recognizing symptoms. This makes it important for you to have a group of people you can talk with and who will be honest with you about how you have been acting.
Many travel nursing agencies like TLC Nursing also have employee assistance programs. They are offered to most, if not all, employees, and are worth taking advantage of. If you do not know what programs are available or how to access them, contact your Human Resources representative and they will be able to direct you to where you need to go.
Create a Support System
To have someone help you recognize if you have burnout or if you are nearing it, you must have a solid support system behind you. Making use of any of these resources will help you decompress and reassess your situation. In turn, you will be able to recharge so that you can be fully present for your patients and coworkers.
Be Sure to Care for Yourself
Take care of yourself! Eating healthfully, getting enough rest, and making sure to move your body every day are tips you hear often. The reason for this is because taking care of yourself helps ensure that you are in the best shape you can be in so you can be fully present with your patients.
Making yourself a priority and remembering you are important is key. You must fill your cup before you can begin filling the cups of others. This can look different for each person. It could be a night eating out at your favorite restaurant, a day where you stay home and have a movie marathon, or maybe you go out with friends. Whatever it is that helps you reset and recharge, you must do it periodically.
Burnout exists in even the best paying travel nursing jobs. No matter the pay rate or weight of your workload, you will get tired and overwhelmed from time to time. There will be difficult days where you need assistance in looking for the positives. There will be times you need to talk about what happened in the day. The best way to ensure you can do these things and continue doing your job well is to recognize and be aware of what burnout is, create a support system that will help you when things are difficult, and take care of yourself in all ways at all times.
Being a part of a nurse owned travel nursing company can help ensure that you have access to any resource you may need. TLC nursing can give you that peace of mind, so join us today! We look forward to hearing from you and serving you in all of your travel nursing needs.