Health professional burnout and job dissatisfaction
Do you love the work you do?
Do you love the place of your work?
Do you have energy and enthusiasm at the beginning of your work day?
Do you feel good and content at the end of your work?
Do you like the people you work with?
Do you get easily irritated and frustrated at work?
Do you think your work is stressful?
Do you have trouble sleeping?
Do you have physical or mental issues that you attribute to work?
Do you think people value and appreciate your effort at work?
Do you think that assessment has any effect on your productivity and performance?
Do you think that your relationships at work would change your performance and productivity?
Most of the health professionals have extremely stressful work status. Their work involves physical labor, human suffering, unsteady work hours, cutback staffing, and stormy interpersonal relationships. Over last three decades the level of stress has escalated due to many reasons including introduction of more technology into the health care system, interjection of new government-initiated changes and more policies and procedures to comply with. These changes have created a very complex health care system with the demand for efficiency, cost control and algorrhythem based medical practices. The side effect of this approach is lack of personal attention and time for patient care and a sense of “Factory Line Medical Care” among patients and their families.
These changes and mandates have created not only angry, frustrated and exhausted health professionals and unsatisfied patients but also a culture of indifference with even a more unhappy and miserable work place.
In a survey in United Sates, 25% of nurses were dissatisfied with their job, 40% felt burned out, 35-45% felt their workload caused them to miss important changes in their patients, and 40-50% dissatisfied with their health care and retirement plan.
Burnout which is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment, not only has caused dissatisfaction among the nurses but also is one of the main reason of absenteeism among them. It also has been associated with decrease performance, productivity and efficiency and increase rate of medical errors. There is also many number of studies showed that the stress at work and burnout have physical and psychological consequences among nursing staff.
The physicians also are not immune to the stress and burnout. US Physician` Foundation survey reported that 73% of physicians think that medicine is not rewarding anymore, 63% of physicians claimed that they don’t have enough time to treat their patients and 60% of them did not recommend medicine as a career to their friends and family.
Health professional burnout and job dissatisfaction had a statistically significant negative effect on patient satisfaction as well. With all these changes and stress at work health professionals would not have any motivation to create any remarkable experience for patients which overall has weakened the patient-health professional relationships.
There have been many suggestions to alleviate these problems in our health care system with minimal or no results. But what is very clear is the importance of attention to wellbeing of health professionals. The wellbeing of our health professionals does not really improve with force, more policies and procedures, increase reward, or even decrease their workload. People will need to understand the real value and meaning of health care for humanity and their society, feel a sense of connection to the cause, practice the essence of humanity in their care and their relationships among themselves and patients and share positive emotions to be able to thrive and flourish.
Wellbeing of health professionals is not a luxury anymore but it is essential. It promotes happiness, motivation and performance. It also improves their response to struggles and diversities and make the health professional more resilient in their stressful workplace.