Are you at risk of burnout?

Burnout is a common reality for all business.  This is a sad reality.

Everyone is under some form of stress.  Many people are under extreme financial stress at the moment with the recession.  Media give conflicting reports of an improvement then another down turn.

Many people in Christchurch are under stress following the earthquake and aftershocks.  There has been more cardiac arrests than normal there since the earthquake. Many people have lost their homes.   

These stresses are caused by outside forces and are outside a persons control and are very difficult to manage and come to terms with.  However there are stresses that are avoidable.

These are stresses caused by people on people.  It comes from the top down and usually results in unrealistic expectations on what is humanly possible for a person to do. This is avoidable.

Expecting a facility manager to be everything to everyone will result in burnout.   It is not humanly possible for a Manager to be the RN, Marketing, Quality, OSH, HR, Infection Control, Complaints, Manager is not humanly possible to be done by one person.

This is the major result of turnover of Managers yet still those managing the manager still have unrealistic expectations of them and load more on the an already stressed person.  This results in the loss of the manager and often the loss of the person to the industry. 

I recently heard of a story in a small country town where the RN/Manager had to work night shift as she couldn’t get anyone else to fill the gap. She was also expected to do her own day job as well as there is no one to replace the Manager.  In these cases, something has to give and this meant the time sheets in for wages was going to be sent in late.  

Did the wages clerk understand that?  No they didn’t.  She was told in no uncertain terms the wage sheets had to be in on time.

So what did she do?  She walked out!

When the gap between the coal face and administrators become so wide, disaster strikes.  Administrators who are separated from the bones of the business, the core part that brings in the income and pays everyone’s wages, cause major stress to Managers. 

We now see a campaign by doctors to have their work recognized.  They too work long hours and are still expected to make good clinical judgment.   This is impossible.  

When the body and the mind is tired and exhausted mistakes happen, a previously rationally behaved person becomes irrational and ultimately sickness and disease follows.  This also happens to Registered Nurses who are Managers as well.

It takes, on average, 7 years to recover from burnout and even then, a person never reaches the level of performance they did in the pre-burnout stage.  Please don't do this to yourself or your staff.  The health and wellbeing of you, and your staff, is paramount.  Losing your health, through work, is the greatest tragedy in the world, and it is avoidable.  
If you or a staff member is at risk, think what you can do to help them.  Prevention is far better than cure.


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