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More than 75% of healthcare professionals have self-reported burnout as well as increased frustration and feeling overwhelmed at work. Andrea Sikora, PharmD, BCCCP, MSCR, FCCM, discusses what can be done and highlights three recent articles offering recommendations on how to prevent burnout and establish effective mentorship opportunities.
As burnout has become more pervasive, statistics on burnout among healthcare professionals have increased in the literature. “The healthcare profession is really facing a pandemic of burnout, and this pandemic was present even before COVID-19 came on the scene,” said Andrea Sikora, PharmD, BCCCP, MSCR, FCCM. “COVID-19 has really just served to fan those flames.”
More than 75% of healthcare professionals have self-reported burnout as well as increased frustration and feeling overwhelmed at work. More than 90% say they are stressed. Dr. Sikora, clinical associate professor at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy and critical care pharmacy specialist at Augusta University Medical Center, presented these statistics at the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s 2022 Critical Care Congress as part of the session “Year in Review: In-Training.”
Dr. Sikora explained that burnout is a syndrome with three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from the job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to the job, and reduced professional efficacy. The common link among these dimensions is that they all result from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed, she said. Burnout rates of greater than 50% have been reported across healthcare professions, including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. It is no surprise that burnout is particularly rampant among critical care professionals.
“When we think about the specific intersection of burnout in critical care, we also have to bring in the unique factors of the ICU environment, [including] elements of compassion fatigue from dealing with critically ill patients, moral distress from difficult decisions that are being made in very stressful situations, and perceived delivery of inappropriate care,” she said. “On top of that, you bring in the fact that critical care is an academic discipline, so many people taking care of those patients also have teaching roles. That’s another independent factor that comes in and contributes to burnout syndrome.”
When these factors combine, critical care professionals end up facing posttraumatic stress disorder or other psychological symptoms, while patient satisfaction and quality of care delivered at the bedside decrease. “These feelings lead to increased rates of job turnover and attrition from the field,” Dr. Sikora said, “which is not only unfortunate for the individuals leaving the field after years of training, but there are also increased costs to the institution.”
What can be done? Dr. Sikora highlighted three recent articles offering recommendations on how to prevent burnout and establish effective mentorship opportunities.
Posted: 4/19/2022 | 0 comments
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