Nursing jobs without stress are few and far between. But how can nurse managers protect themselves and their staff from a seemingly inevitable spiral into burnout?
Two words: resiliency training.
"I look at resilience as the prevention of burnout. If we focus on resilience and figuring out what is that magic piece of work that allows nurses or providers to keep in touch with their heart and soul, then we don't reach the burnout phase," Page West, RN, MHA, MPA, senior vice president and chief nursing executive at Dignity Health, told HealthLeaders Media.
"It's the antidote really, if you will, for burnout."
Resiliency training helps nurses handle emotional reactions in a healthy way. Feelings aren’t stuffed down deep inside to fester, embitter, and drain. Rather, nurses learn how to identify their emotions, process them, and move forward — ideally stronger for the experience.
The Dignity Health nurse executive shared with HealthLeaders Media several examples of processes the health system has put in place to instill healthy resiliency patterns in nurses:
The resilience training strategies may sound fluffy to skeptics, but they promote emotional health and resiliency. They strengthen instead of separate. If you’re doubtful, consider West’s observation:
"[They talk] about what a difference it has made in their life — both in their quality of work-life and in their personal life. They feel more rested when they go home and interact with their families," she told HealthLeaders Media.
"I see in their eyes. When they think about the profound difference they have made even in one life during a shift, there's just joy that comes over them, this sense of peace.”
Who wouldn’t take that over burnout?