The term "Burnout" was first used in the medical literature by the psychiatrist HJ Freudenberger in the 1970's. Burnout has been extensively studied and it occurs in a very large number of healthcare professionals. Professional burnout is a work related syndrome with serious consequences for healthcare professionals.
According to researcher Christine Maslach, it is characterized by three adverse characteristics including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a lack of accomplishment. Individuals experiencing this syndrome lose interest in their work and treat others as though they were objects. There are several factors that contribute to this phenomenon including perfectionism, work-life imbalances, ignoring personal needs, and a continuing exposure to high stress environments. Burnout can have a serious negative impact on the physician-patient relationship impacting the quality of care being provided and patient outcomes.
Healthcare professionals are facing a very difficult time in the U.S. and the stress associated with this profession will likely increase. Some professionals experiencing burnout will resort to chemical abuse and even suicide. Early recognition and the implementation of coping strategies are critical to prevent the serious consequences of this syndrome.
Why should you attend: The healthcare environment has become increasingly complex creating an environment for healthcare providers that seriously limit their autonomy in clinical decision making. Non-physician administrators often dictate clinical policy to healthcare providers negatively impacting their capacity to practice medicine. Additionally, healthcare providers are experiencing many difficult challenges that include an increasing number of regulations, decreasing reimbursements, increasing productivity requirements, spending less time with their patients, and the increasing requirements for continuing medical education.
This environment creates a challenge for providers to balance their personal and professional lives in the face of the excessive work hours that include evening and weekend after hours call. As a result of this prolonged stress and frustration the individual may develop both physical and emotional exhaustion, the integral components of burnout.
Burnout in healthcare professionals can have serious effects on career success, and is of increasing concern. The best approach to prevent and/or treat the symptoms of burnout is by focusing on the causes of the stress, and educating the individual about the necessary coping strategies. Additionally, the organization that employs healthcare providers has an important role in resolving any barriers to achieve work – life balance for their employees.
Areas Covered in the Session: