What is burnout?

Burnout is defined as an emotional or physical state resulting from prolonged stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental illness. It can be challenging to determine what causes burnout.

Contributing factors can include poor work-life balance, low job satisfaction, stress related to unresolved conflict in the workplace, lack of managerial support for personal or life issues outside work.

Many people experience burnout at one time or another; however, for some, it is so severe they are unable to continue working.

Some research has found that nurses and other healthcare professionals experience burnout at a rate of 33%. And other studies have estimated that doctors experience it at a rate of up to 44%. This can negatively affect the aspects of patient care, such as increased errors and lower-quality diagnoses.

The negative impacts of burnout begin before it reaches extreme levels, starting with emotional exhaustion (feeling depleted and frustrated), insecurity about self-worth (low self-esteem), and loss of enthusiasm for work. These first symptoms can lead to other issues, such as stress-related illness, interpersonal relationship problems, and decreased productivity.

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