What is "burnout"?
Professional burnout is characterized by feelings of emotional exhaustion, a loss of enthusiasm for work, a loss of a sense of personal accomplishment, and cynicism. With some studies showing that over 50% of clinicians are experiencing burnout, it has led to questions about how burnout may be impacting patient care and safety. Burned-out doctors are more likely to leave their practice or go into early retirement, and those who stay may feel so dissatisfied that it can affect their interactions with patients.
Physicians aren’t alone: hospital nurses, nursing home nurses, and receptionists in particular also report feelings of stress and burnout, with complaints about heavy patient loads and inadequate staffing. And when numerous members of a team feel burned out, everyone loses. Dissatisfied employees aren’t at their best, which creates more stress for others on their team who are already overwhelmed. The effects can be far-reaching and threaten patient access, care, and safety.
What can be done about it?
As researchers continue to explore the causes of burnout and use them to inform future interventions, clinicians can proactively take steps to care for themselves. Activities that quickly enable them to improve their well-being can pay dividends. The Daily Challenge program from MeYou Health allows anyone to do one small, healthy action every day, in areas ranging from exercise and nutrition to stress reduction and sound sleep. Each day’s challenge takes just a minute or two and can be done right on a smartphone, perfect for the stressed and time-pressed.
Daily Challenge was evaluated in a randomized control trial for its impact on well-being, with 1,500 participants who were followed for 90 days. Those in the program showed significantly higher improvements in well-being. With simple challenges that impact all areas of well-being, there’s something for anyone who needs a quick dose of healthy me-time.