A recent study shows that a nurse who experienced “burn out” may put the patient’s welfare at risk. According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in the United Kingdom, the care of the patients may be jeopardized due to understaffing and tons of workloads. Nurses, in their day-to-day experience, may be subjected to unavoidable pressure as said by the RCN. A number of factors may cause stress for the nurses which can eventually lead to imbalanced health status. In a research done by the RCN in UK last year, more than half out of 2,000 nurses from the government’s National Health Service division and private sectors were found to be suffering from poor health related to stress. Surprisingly, four out of five nurses reported they still went on duty despite feeling ill or unwell. Several of the participants of the study said that sickness-related rules in their respective place of occupation are very strict that they have no choice but to go to work in spite of enduring sickness.
As stated by one of the nurses participating in the research by the RCN: “I’ve been told that if I don’t meet the 100% attendance at work I will be up for a capability hearing. I had three admissions into hospital due to a cardiac problem, so if I get chest pain I have to ignore it because I have to go to work.”
Another nurse mentioned: “I am currently off work following breast cancer. A senior manager called three weeks after my surgery and asked if I was coming back as people with cancer often don’t return and they wanted to fill my post.”
The said organization said that if nurses are reporting to duty feeling unhealthy, the patient’s well-being may be placed in grave danger.
Some of the RCN officers also brought up matters regarding the working environment for the nurses after 56% stated they had suffered some form of physical or verbal abuse from their own patients of care. Another group of nurses, a portion of 23%, claimed they experienced bullying from their superiors or heads.
The RCN’s general secretary, Dr. Peter Carter, mentioned: “In the aftermath of the Francis inquiry, it is clearer than ever that working cultures in the NHS and beyond have a direct and serious effect on the level of care that staff can provide to patients.
“Our whole care system is currently facing the huge challenge of delivering care at a time of increased demand and scant resource. This is the reality which nurses face in every working day.”
He further said: “Worryingly, this report shows that rather than an environment which supports staff, some employers are instead adopting panic behaviors. Staff report being intimidated and blamed, and feel they have no way of speaking out about threats to patient care. Individual nurses are clearly going the extra mile to make sure the job is done, however, the risk of burnout is very real, and very widespread.”
According to the spokeswoman of the Department of Health spokeswoman, she said: “The staff working for our NHS is our health service’s most precious resource. Nurses are working extremely hard and continue to provide a high quality of care in the face of rising healthcare demands. We want to support nurses as much as possible and are already investing in technology and training while looking at cutting bureaucracy by a third to allow nurses to focus on patients and not paperwork.”