Nursing professionals are the unsung heroes of the healthcare profession. On any given shift, they can play important roles in high-stakes and life-or-death cases. With the additional stress of a long-lasting nursing shortage and long hours, it’s no wonder nurses are experiencing stress and burnout at unprecedented levels.
For nurses, proper stress management is critical for them and their patients, as research tells us that chronic stress can also negatively affect their ability to act as caretakers. This means that healthcare administrators need to seriously consider strategies for helping nurses constructively manage stress. The unique nature of nursing, however, may require a proactive strategy and an out-of-the-box solution to help you best serve your nursing staff.
Factors that contribute to nurse stress and burnout rates
In addition to the everyday stress that we experience day-to-day, nurses also endure substantial occupational stress. In fact, the American Nurses Foundation released a survey that reveals over 75% of nurses feel stressed. But what factors are contributing to the rise of nurse burnout?
Inherently stressful work environments
Nursing professionals must take The Nightingale Pledge — a promise to adhere to the Hippocratic Oath not to do any harm and to remain dedicated to their work. Yet in a high-stakes work environment, that can be difficult to do shift after shift.
On any given day, nurses may endure the following:
- Extra job responsibilities due to understaffing
- Verbal or physical abuse from patients
- Emotional and psychological strain from losing a patient
- Exposure to infections and illnesses
- Exhaustion and sleep deprivation
- Lack of administrative support
- Information overload and other communication barriers
Long hours and staff shortages
Shift nurses at hospitals or all-night clinics often work three days per week. It sounds ideal, but while those shifts are typically 12 hours each, they often run for 14 or more. During those shifts, they may do more than just perform their work responsibilities. These factors have led to lower rates of job satisfaction and increased turnover rates. Nursing shortages are prevalent because of “high turnover and inequitable workforce distribution.”
Not only do administrators need to take action to reduce turnover among nursing staff, but addressing the stress and burnout this can cause for those nurses who remain, will require innovative solutions.
Struggles with communication and collaboration
Nurses rarely spend much time behind a desk, aside from completing administrative tasks and charting. This can make it challenging for healthcare administrators to establish consistent channels of communication and provide access to resources.
Important messages or information can easily fall through the cracks in high-stakes work environments where staff are under pressure to perform well and have limited time to review material that is distributed through traditional communication channels, like emails.
Because nurses are on their feet, using traditional communication outlets like email to send important announcements or other need-to-know information simply won’t work for them or their patients. Improving communication among your nursing staff can also improve the patient experience.
Inhibited access to resources and learning materials
The height of the COVID pandemic showed us the reality of the working conditions in healthcare. As patients with COVID poured into hospitals and clinics worldwide, nurses and doctors were left treating them without the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), respirators or even clinical space.
Nurses need access to the right resources to care for patients to the best of their abilities. As new technologies and procedures emerge, they’ll also need better access to continuing nurse education (CNE) courses and learning materials to support their work.
Effortlessly addressing these needs with digital signage
Nurses need proper care, too, if we expect them to continue treating patients effectively. UPshow Health is the leading healthcare employee engagement platform that powers your facility’s digital screens. It can address many of the stressors your nurses face in a modern and accessible way.
Increasing team-wide communication
With UPshow Health, you can create and display critical shift announcements, administrative updates, educational resources and more screen-by-screen. Instead of using email to communicate with your staff, everyone can be in the know simply by reading what you’ve displayed.
You can create customized content for each shift or department with UPshow’s easy-to-use Canva integration. UPshow also makes it easy to schedule content playlists well in advance, tailoring them toward specific staff needs. Likewise, by taking advantage of fixed panel and multipanel displays, you can keep critical information on the screen for as long as necessary while also sharing new updates or announcements.
Create a nursing experience that values teamwork
There is no “I” in a healthcare team. Nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals must work together to provide the best patient care possible. When nurses are stressed and overworked, it can affect morale across your clinic.
You can use UPshow Health to boost morale and teamwork by:
- Spotlighting patient care highlights and milestones
- Displaying team shout-outs to acknowledge and celebrate stellar performance
- Making important administrative announcements
- Announcing staff parties and new break-room additions, like comfortable seating, new digital screens or a staff-wide lunch
- Posting new staff mental or physical health initiatives
- Displaying content related to team-building exercises
Gain insight into the well-being of your nurses
Nursing staff can’t pour out of an empty tank. It’s critical that you know how best to care for your nurses' well-being. The most effective way to do that is to ask for their feedback. With UPshow’s QR Code Campaign Creator, you can create and display QR codes that link to surveys and feedback forms that your nurses can simply scan and complete on their mobile devices whenever they want.
With the help of insights and analytics, you can lift the curtain on what your staff is engaging with and what they aren’t so that you can make necessary changes to the content and resources you display. When you have access to their feedback and engagement levels, you can be proactive about getting them the resources they need even sooner so that you can prevent (or at least lower) the chances that they’ll burn out.
Building a better environment for your nurses with UPshow
Chronic workplace stress can deplete the energy and morale of your nursing staff. Over time, this can interfere with how effectively they treat their patients. Making nurse stress management a priority is more important now than ever.
UPshow SHIFT for Healthcare is the remedy your nurses (and their patients) need. Get a customized dose of UPshow Health, and give your nurses access to the resources they need to feel their best, so they can perform at their best.