Hospitals & Healthcare
There is a myriad of reasons why nursing is one of the most rewarding, yet stressful professions in the world. Nurses carry a lot on their shoulders and in doing so, often neglect their own physical and mental health which can result in problems like severe burnout, depression, anxiety, and other ailments.
As healthcare administrators ponder how to prevent nurse burnout, one of the solutions hinges on technology.
What is Nurse Burnout?
Burnout in nursing can rear its head in many ways but is most often related to a handful of symptoms such as:
- Dreading going to work
- Feeling underappreciated
- Being overworked
- Depersonalization (becoming numb or disconnected)
Nurses are constantly dealing with high-stress situations in high-stress environments. They have long shifts and assist patients and their families by also providing emotional support. Consequently, it’s not surprising at some point that the signs of burnout may become prevalent. Not only do nurses care for patients physically, but are constantly providing reassurance to them and to their loved ones. Anyone who has ever been in a hospital – where most patients are afraid and unsure – knows how caring and thoughtful most nurses are.
A staff shortage remains one of the most pressing issues facing nurses today. According to an article on nurse.org, 79% of nurses indicate their units are understaffed. As the shortage continues to worsen, nurses who are working will feel the pinch of those shortages. Nurses indicate certain factors that would make the biggest difference:
- Improved staffing ratios
- Better pay
- Better working conditions
An article in nursejournal.org cites a study stating 35% of hospital nurses, 37% of nurses working in nursing homes, and 22% of nurses in other healthcare settings had a high degree of emotional exhaustion. If nurses don’t seek help, they could suffer serious consequences.
What Self-Care Steps Can Nurses Take?
If you’re a nurse, it is absolutely necessary for you to have a great support system at home and at work.
Additionally, to minimize stress and deal with working pressures, there are other things you can do:
- Talk it out. Find someone either in human resources, a nursing organization, or a trusted friend or family member who will actively listen to how you’re feeling and being impacted. When you talk about the difficulties of managing work and life, other staff will be willing to cover each other, especially in family emergencies.
- Advocate for your profession. Taking steps to talk to the administration and lawmakers empowers you and can improve the work environment.
- Consider other areas of nursing. One beauty of nursing is it is so multifaceted. For example, if you are burned out in the inpatient setting, consider other areas of nursing, such as a professional research assistant, home visit or hospice nursing, or working in an outpatient setting.
- Take care of yourself! Studies show moving your body regularly feels good, improves your mental outlook, and makes you feel less stressed. Get out and have fun, eat well, and get at least eight hours of sleep.
- Make sure you take your time off. Go on much-needed vacations.
How Can Technology Help?
There are a number of nurse burnout solutions and technology is part of the positive puzzle piece:
Using location-based technology can help to ease the burnout burden. When a nurse has real-time information regarding his or her location and the availability of resources, it’s likely he or she is able to make more informed decisions about seeking help or when to take breaks – an important part of self-care on the job. Mapsted’s location-based platform of solutions can help to reduce the time nurses spend on administrative tasks, potentially reducing future nurse burnout. Giving nurses more time to take care of their patients goes a long way toward alleviating frustration and stress.
Mapsted’s solution has the capability to track and locate assets, so nurses don’t have to go searching for vital equipment such as working IV pumps, ECG machines, and so on. The system can send staff and equipment to where they’re needed most.
Tedious administrative workloads are one of the main reasons nurses begin to suffer on the job. Add those tasks to caring for patients and maintaining communication with patients’ family members, and nurses soon begin to feel the stress.
AI-based tools can help to create and update care plans, meet compliance standards, and heighten team communication. This type of automation cuts down on the quantities of data nurses must input for patient care.
Documentation and Care Planning
Creating and updating patient care plans is time-consuming and laborious. By using AI-based support tools nurses can build evidence-based care plans quickly. These plans are compliant and meet the communication needs of team members. Instead of inputting data, nurses just need to review the final plans and make any necessary edits.
Embellished Patient Care
Location tools, clinical AI, digital support tools, and similar technologies provide real-time help at the point of care. These technologies pave the way for informed, quicker decision-making, audit-proof documentation, and safety guidelines for evidence-based care of the highest quality. Nurses can locate specific information faster and spend less time entering text that’s non-coded and repetitive. By having coded clinical information created by AI, reporting, research, operations planning, and compliance reviews become easier, less time-consuming, and less daunting.
Alleviating Challenges in Staffing That Cause Stress
It’s well-known that there are vast global shortages in nursing staff. There may be some relief in utilizing technology by augmenting the skills of nurses who have less experience. For instance, support tools using evidence-based practices to make decisions can direct nurses to decide the next steps in patient care when a patient’s health is deteriorating or when a patient is admitted with a rare diagnosis. This workflow guidance eases stress levels and increases staff confidence.
In fact, technology has risen to automate more nursing workflows. For example, online diagnostics and symptom checks can help triage patients when nurses have many patients waiting. Voice recognition and automated data entry tools can also automate routine administrative tasks, so nurses have more time to spend with their patients. Hospital operators can even leverage workforce management solutions to optimize staff schedules.
Virtual nursing is a way to support new technologies that keep clinicians providing leading-edge patient care. This type of nursing provides care remotely using digital technologies such as telephones, videoconferencing, mobile apps, and other electronics to assess, diagnose, monitor, and manage a patient’s health condition while not with the patient. Many healthcare facilities are adopting this modality as an option. Virtual nurses can monitor blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose levels, and any other devices a patient is wearing. It can help allay burnout in a number of ways:
- Reduce heavy workloads
- Allow for more flexible scheduling
- Provide enhanced support
- Increase autonomy
- Provide professional development
Consequently, virtual nursing helps improve work-life balance and job satisfaction, which may help to decrease nurse burnout.
The Bottom Line
Technology should take things off nurses’ plates, not complicate their jobs further. Addressing how to reduce nurse burnout requires a comprehensive approach, of which technology only plays a part. However, technology can vastly improve nurses’ working lives and that is a step in the right direction. Mapsted’s world-leading hardware-free location-based solutions for hospitals and healthcare facilities can make a positive impact and free up nurses’ precious time. It’s one of the foremost nurse burnout solutions.For additional information on Mapsted’s value in healthcare settings, check out this short video, and our blog on Ways to Improve the Patient Experience in Hospitals Using Smart Technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How does location-based technology help reduce nurse burnout?
Ans. By providing nurses with real-time information about their location and the availability of resources, they can make more informed decisions about where and when to take breaks or seek help. This helps nurses take better care of themselves, leading to improved job satisfaction and reduced stress levels. Additionally, location-based technology can help streamline processes such as patient tracking, which can help reduce the amount of time nurses spend on administrative tasks. In this way, location-based technology has the potential to significantly reduce nurse burnout in the future.
Q2. What are the benefits of using location-based technology for nurses
Ans. With location-based technology, nurses can track their patients’ locations in real time and make sure they are receiving the best possible care. Additionally, it can be used to monitor vital signs and provide alerts when there are any changes in a patient’s condition. This helps nurses respond quickly to any medical emergencies and provide timely treatment for their patients.
Q3. How does location-based technology help nurses manage their workloads?
Ans. By providing real-time information on the location of patients, equipment, and other resources, it enables nurses to make informed decisions about how best to allocate their time and resources. This can help them provide better care for patients while also reducing their stress levels by taking away some of the guesswork that comes with managing a busy workload.
Q4. What kind of technologies are used in location-based systems for nurses?
Ans. Technologies such as RFID tags, GPS tracking, Bluetooth beacons and Wi-Fi networks are all being used in location-based systems for nurses. However, Mapsted’s revolutionary, patented system is hardware-free and beacon-free. These technologies provide accurate location data used to track patients, equipment and other resources in real-time. By using these technologies, nurses can ensure they are always up to date with the latest information about their patients’ locations.
Q5. Are there any ethical considerations when using location-based technology in healthcare settings?
Ans. With the use of this technology come ethical considerations that must be taken into account. These include issues relating to data privacy, data security, and patient autonomy. In addition, there are potential risks associated with using location-based technology in healthcare settings that must be considered