The ‘burnout’ or burned worker syndrome is one of the consequences that health workers have suffered the most due to the high levels of stress they have endured during the pandemic. One of the groups affected have been the professionals dedicated to the Emergenciesof which, according to a study, 60% suffer from it.
However, only the only 41% of those surveyed in this research have indicated that they have had access to psychological support, face-to-face or virtual, which can be very useful to lessen the effects of this syndrome. This lack of psychological attention for health professionals can affect the health system, since, if they are “burned out”, they will not be able to offer the expected quality of care.
This same study has evaluated the presence of symptoms related to this syndrome, mainly emotional fatigue and depersonalization. The aforementioned 60% corresponds to people who suffered from at least one of them, while 31% also had both symptoms, which would indicate that the ‘burnout’ is at a level that requires professional clinical evaluation and psychological support.
The figures from this international survey carried out by the European Society for Emergency Medicine (EUSEM) show a worsening than before the pandemicwhere the cases were around 47%, and other medical specialties.
Who are the emergency room health workers most affected by burnout?
Of the professionals, those who work in hospital emergency services were more affected by ‘burnout’ than those who practiced in pre-hospital services or those who share both activities or who dedicate part of their work time to other non-clinical activities such as education and training. This is mainly due to the great impact of Covid-19, especially in the emergency sector.
There is also a gender division within this burned-out worker syndrome, affecting women more than men. Similarly, the study shows that there is a greatest impact on nurses, who have 1.75 times more risk of suffering ‘burnout’ than doctors who work in the same environment. The most likely cause of this difference is longer direct contact with the patient.
Another of the differentiating features that represent an increase in the suffering of this syndrome is seniority in the service. Respondents with less than 5 years of experience are three times more at risk compared to professionals with more than 20 years of experience. These results highlight the condition in young professionals, for whom specific interventions should be carried out, since a negative experience during the training period is a risk factor for burnout and depression in future working life.
The limitation of resources and the excess of rotation, risk factors of ‘burnout’
Lastly, it is important to note that the resource limitation it is also an important factor in the increase in the levels of this syndrome, especially the limitation of human resources.
The workforce shortage It has often been linked to increased ‘burnout’. When this lack of personnel occurs in a timely manner, the degree of ‘burnout’ is 2.7 times higher. This figure increases to declare 10 times more burned worker syndrome when the deficit of toilets occurs frequently.
The excess staff turnover it exerts a negative effect on the quality of the care process and is associated with high levels of ‘burnout’. In fact, in the professionals who expressed frequent wishes to change jobs, the syndrome was four times higher than in those who did not think about changes.
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