“Put simply, we know burnout exists and we know it’s getting worse. Let’s leave it at that and move forward. Let’s focus on what we know might mitigate burnout…”
That’s from this month’s Viewpoint, “Burnout Research at a Crossroads,” by Tim Cunningham and Sharon Pappas. Some readers may find it a relief to have this stated so baldly: let’s move on to solutions, say the authors. Let’s put research dollars, time, and energy behind the search for clearer information about what works and what doesn’t.
A two-pronged approach.
The authors see a crucial and legitimate place for investigation of what works and what doesn’t in wellness initiatives to support “personal resilience” through self-care (an increasingly nebulous term in itself).
But they caution against shifting the responsibility onto nurses’ shoulders and ignoring real systemic issues.
With this in mind, they call for research that first of all examines systemic factors:
“It’s only commonsensical that burnout and work experience are intimately tied. It’s time to look more closely at staffing, work hours, team nursing, equitable pay, and other work environment factors that may decrease burnout.”
In search of a blueprint grounded in data and nurse experience.
The ultimate goal, the authors write, is to create a “blueprint” to better align workplace systems and types of support offered to nurses with what research, much of it about and by nurses, will be able to tell us.
Too optimistic? Read the one-page essay and let us know your thoughts about current and future nursing research priorities into burnout and its opposite, however we define the latter.