CE1023 | Contact Hours: 2
Work Overload and Its Effect on Patient Care
The purpose of this course is to educate healthcare professionals on the implications of work overload on the nursing profession. This includes both personal and professional consequences as well as patient care and effects on the healthcare system. At the conclusion of this course, the healthcare professional will be able to:
1. Define work overload and identify its risk factors among the nursing profession.
2. Recognize signs and symptoms of work stress and overload.
3. Discuss the prevalence of work overload among the nursing profession.
4. Understand the personal and professional consequences of nursing work overload.
5. Implement strategies to manage stress and work overload.
Sara Hilgenberg, LPN
CRITERIA FOR SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION
All learners must complete the entire activity and complete the evaluation to receive contact hours.
APPROVAL STATEMENT (ACCREDITATION INFORMATION)
This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by the Ohio Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (OBN-001-91).
In addition to states that accept American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) courses, CE Leaders is an approved provider by the Florida Board of Nursing, and a registered provider with the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, District of Columbia Board of Nursing, Georgia Board of Nursing, Kentucky Board of Nursing, New Mexico Board of Nursing, South Carolina Board of Nursing and West Virginia Board of Registered Nurses (Provider # 50-33450).
RELEVANT FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIP
No one with the ability to control content of this activity has a relevant financial relationship with an ineligible company.
Stress is commonly defined as physical, mental or emotional strain or tension (1). Surveys conducted by the American Psychological Association consistently find that work is a significant source of stress by a majority of Americans (2). A reported 83% of United States workers report some kind of work related stress, which causes one million people to miss work every day (3). The World Health Organization (WHO) lists burnout, a type of work related stress, as an “occupational phenomenon” (4). According to the WHO, burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as a result from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed and is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy (4). Burnout is more prevalent among professions that help others, especially among nurses. Since nurses are especially vulnerable to burnout, it is of great concern for many reasons. One, registered nurses represent the largest sector of healthcare professionals, with nearly 3.1 million in the United States, and they are on the frontlines for direct patient care (5). Another reason is that, regardless of that seemingly high number, The American Nurses Association (ANA) reports that more registered nurse jobs will be available through 2022 than any other profession in the United States (6). Higher workloads and shortages among nurses have been associated with lower ratings of quality of care, errors and poor patient outcomes (7, 8). Increasing job satisfaction among nurses and reducing their high level of workload is critical to maintaining an adequate number of nurses and quality of patient care.
1. The Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN), is a program of the American Nurses Association Enterprise designed to improve the health of registered nurses: https://www.healthynursehealthynation.org/
2. Self-care strategies from the American Holistic Nurses Association: https://www.ahna.org/Home/Resources/Stress-Management
3. UNC School of Medicine’s Heroes Health Initiative provides a free mobile application that allows nurses to track their mental health and find appropriate mental health resources: https://heroeshealth.unc.edu/
4. Nursegroups is a volunteer-led emotional wellness initiative created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re interested in joining a confidential videoconference group to discuss your mental health challenges, NurseGroups is a great resource. You can join an individual session or sign up for recurring invites on a weekly basis. You can also find useful self-care resources: https://nursegroups.org/
5. Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator: This resource from SAMHSA allows users to find treatment facilities confidentially and anonymously, searching by address: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
6. The CDC’s resources include guidance for public health and health professionals and information for people seeking mental health treatment: https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/tools-resources/index.htm
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