Stress Control Measures to Prevent Nursing Burnout

Nursing fatigue is a serious problem that threatens patient safety as the former cannot provide adequate health care services while they lack job satisfaction. The recent studies by Bragard, Dupuis, and Fleet (2015) and Estryn-Behar, Van der Heijden and the NEXT Study Group (2012) indicate the importance of implementing stress control strategies in nurses. As research shows, the professional activity of medical workers is characterized by great complexity and tension due to the high responsibility for life and health of people.

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The syndrome includes an awareness of failure in work, the feeling of emotional devastation and fatigue, an indifferent attitude to work, emergence of a sense of incompetence in the professional sphere. In its turn, long-term fatigue leads to the development of personality deformities that reduce the productivity of work and patient safety. The mechanism of formation of professional stress among medical workers is a result of the combination of high control over the manifestations of negative reactions, a high level of anxiety, and poor ability to pass through stressful situations related to professional activities.

The mentioned articles provide essential insights about stress control measures that should be directed at the removal of a stressor based on the increased professional motivation, the balance between the effort spent and the reward received, and schedule reconsideration. To prevent and eliminate occupational stress, nurses need a favorable and friendly atmosphere within the team along with the sense of sufficient emotional support from colleagues and leaders.

From the early signs of burnout, attention should be paid to improving the working conditions of health care workers, personal reactions, and the state of somatic health. They also need to maintain their health, improve sleep and nutrition, and master the techniques of emotional self-regulation. Involvement in work can be achieved only if this work “awakens” people. Motivational inclusion is a condition for the formation of involvement in professional activities. It creates readiness to additional efforts if required by the interests of the organization that are not limited to job descriptions; the sense of self-esteem based on satisfaction with their professional achievements and their work; and interest in reaching meaningful work results.

The strategies that may prevent emotional professional burnout contain different approaches. Among others, personality-oriented techniques aimed at improving an individual’s ability to resist stress through changing his or her behaviour should be noted. The latter implies constant internal work of health professionals, rethinking behavior, reflecting emotional states, active rest, etc. Moreover, there are measures aimed at changing the working environment: the educational work on the nature and consequences of professional deformation, the prevention of unfavorable circumstances, namely, the creation of such psychological climate in the team that would benefit its members, group training, and anti-stress programs.

To implement evidence-based practice changes, it is necessary to provide extensive education of health care workers to explain to them the early signs and consequences of the issue. Currently, there is the lack of theoretical and practical research on the problem of the syndrome of emotional burnout in the professional activity of health workers. Therefore, the emphasis is to be placed on the applied aspect of this problem, namely, the areas of corrective work. The practical importance of studying this problem and the mentioned articles lies in the fact that psychologists, health professionals, managers can use the recommended methods of stress control and diagnostic techniques to develop measures to prevent fatigue in the process of performing professional activities.


Bragard, I., Dupuis, G., & Fleet, R. (2015). Quality of work life, burnout, and stress in emergency department physicians: A qualitative review. European Journal of Emergency Medicine, 22(4), 227-234.

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Estryn-Behar, M., Van der Heijden, B., & the NEXT Study Group. (2012). Effects of extended work shifts on employee fatigue, health, satisfaction, work/family balance, and patient safety. IOS Press, 41, 4283-4290.

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