February 20, 2020

The Buzz on Burnout

how common is nurse burnout

Everyone is buzzing about traveler burnout. Its impact on healthcare workers is obvious, far-reaching, and unacceptable. Acknowledging traveler burnout is one of those uncomfortable topics that we simply don’t have the luxury to ignore. Of all of the problems plaguing health care travelers, it’s the issue that appears to have its solution right in front of us. 

The Buzz on Burnout

As a travel nurse agency, while we would like to pretend that the industry is all about enjoying yourself in a new location, we know that’s not the reality. We believe in being transparent, and that means that not addressing this issue would be doing a disservice to our nurses who trust us with their careers. Click here to jump ahead to Burnout & Traveling.

What is Traveler Burnout & Why Should We Care?

We combed through studies, surveys, and stats to really understand the issues, concerns, and problems facing health care travelers — don’t worry, we’ll link them all at the bottom. Nearly 20% of nurses reported that they experience burnout. That number is shocking. It’s 1 in 5 travelers. And we know more than 5 travelers. 

nurse burnout infographic

That’s a lot of travelers experiencing burnout. But here’s the real crux of the problem — does it impact patient care?

The answer is, unfortunately, yes. That’s part of what makes it so difficult. When you add in traveler-guilt, it becomes increasingly difficult to break the cycle. Health care travelers wear many hats: compassionate caregivers, technical experts, and master clinicians. When you add in the emotional exhaustion, the pieces become increasingly hard to juggle. It’s not that they stop caring about their patients — it’s a depletion of personal resources, they have little left to give.nurse burnout infographic

New Traveler Burnout

Millennials matter in the burnout discussion. Ageism is alive and well in healthcare, but it’s essential to understand what role millennials play now and for the future of nursing. Did you know there’s a traveler shortage? Yeah, we all know that. As millennial nurses rapidly become a large portion of the traveling population, they’re not planning on staying in their jobs. So, we’re losing travelers on both ends. 

millennial nurses

Luckily, millennials are nothing if not industrious — and loud. They’re making noise in the field and telling administrators and researchers what they want. They want direction and a career they can grow in for the longterm. 

Battling Burnout

To truly battle burnout, we have to listen to what travelers tell us. Health care travelers want to be supported and engaged in their careers. They want to have opportunities to grow and find career fulfillment. And it’s not quite the impossible task some think it is. Travelers reported that critical drivers of true career fulfillment include autonomy, teamwork, trust, and career development.

nurse engagement factors

Burnout & Traveling

For many health care professionals, traveling is the answer to burnout. Hello, autonomy! It’s a way health care professionals can have immediate control over their practice. Want to work with the latest tech or most prestigious teaching facility? Be a traveler. Want to fill a need and explore the country? Be a traveler. 

But what happens when purpose and passion become stress and dread?

Burnout symptoms impact people across every industry, and health care traveling is no exception. You may be experiencing a state of physical and emotional exhaustion from long-term stress in your job. Traveling can be both physically draining and emotionally draining. For travelers, it can creep up; and that’s because they report experiencing autonomy over their careers, and we know autonomy is an essential factor in feeling career fulfillment. So what does burnout look like for travelers?

  • Exhaustion: Are you feeling exhausted most of the time from the day-to-day or emotionally drained?
  • Feeling Overwhelmed: Are you experiencing near-constant stress from worrying about your next shift, assignment, or housing search?
  • Escaping: Do you find yourself engaging in escapist behaviors like excessive drinking? Do you check out from or procrastinate on crucial tasks.
  • Disillusioned: Maybe you’re feeling as though your efforts fail to produce the expected results, bringing on deep disillusionment or cynicism.

A significant component of burnout for travelers occurs when their work doesn’t align with their values — what you do day-in and day-out matters. At the core, its crucial to feel as though our work contributes to our long-term goals.

challenges of nursing

Real People. Real Relationships. Real Support.

We believe in doing things differently. We want to do it better. So we asked ourselves and our travelers: how do we do that? By leveraging our passion for connection to help travelers determine (and reach) their career goals. At the center of it all, you’ll find real people: supportive recruiters, specialists to make your travel life easier, and a community of fellow travelers. You’ll also find resources, tools, and inspiration to keep you going when motivation falls short. 

  • Inspiration: Do you need help remembering your passion for traveling? Read this — 3 stories from real travelers.
  • Resources: Did you know we have a Chaplain on staff to assist our travelers through the challenging times? Learn more here.
  • Support: It’s time to experience the difference of unparalleled support with TNAA. Start here.