Diagnosis: Burn-Out

Diagnosis: Burn-Out

Diagnosis nurse burnout burn-out


  • The reduction of a fuel or substance to nothing through use or combustion.

  • Physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.




Causes, incidence, and risk factors

There have been no studies on the rate of incidence of burnout, however it is observed quite frequently among long-term staff nurses.

Risk Factors for burnout may include:

  • Working in the nursing field  longer than 2 years.
  • Frequent Mandatory Overtime.
  • Conflicts with co-workers or Managers.
  • Job Dissatisfaction.
  • Limited time off work.
  • Working in a high-stress environment (Nursing)


  • Slacking off. If you’re coming in late, leaving early, taking long lunch breaks, cruising the Internet and “shopping” on-line, taking lots of sick days and/or personal days—face it, your heart is clearly not in the work.
  • Disinterest. You could be suffering from burnout when you no longer care about the work. You do it, but it’s boring.  Disinterest in the workplace is dangerous, because it leads to ignoring the details—and the devil really is in the details. Don’t ignore the next time you find yourself saying, “Oops!” That’s a symptom that your mind wasn’t on task. Why not?
  • Emotional storm clouds. Your feelings have an uncanny way of telling you when the situation is not working. Don’t ignore them. Pay attention to them. Frustration, anger, depression, stress, sadness, hopelessness—classic symptoms of burnout. Tragically, many people deny or override their negative feelings by engaging in destructive behaviors that temporarily make them feel better: drinking, drug use, on-line porn, chat sites, even snacking and overeating. If you’re compulsively doing stuff like that, what is it about your job that is not engaging your best energy?
  • Physical troubles. You may ignore all the signals that your supervisor, your coworkers, your gut, and your work itself are screaming at you. But your body will have the final word. Sleep problems (too much, too little), headaches, tight shoulders and neck, ulcers, weight gain/loss, hypertension—why, I once worked with a woman who felt nauseous as she arrived at work everyday. I’ll tell you what I told her: your physical ailments are your final warning that you could be suffering from burnout. You need to make a change in employment—not in years, months, or weeks, but in days. Forget whose “fault” that is. Get a new job—now!

Signs and tests

There are currently no definitive tests available for diagnosis of Burnout.


There is currently no known cure for burnout.  It’s a progressive condition which only worsens with time. The best treatment is to manage symptoms by feeding the condition by changing careers and becoming a Travel Nurse.

Support Groups

There are multiple support groups for people suffering from burnout.  Check the Outpatient Tab for links.

I would encourage you to post comments.  Tell me what you want to hear about, what you enjoyed, or how you combat some of the issues discussed.  You may also connect with me via Twitter or Facebook and together we can work on decreasing the symptoms together.

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As a travel nursing educator, Candy aka Gypsy Nurse, RN has worked in healthcare for nearly 20 years, working up the ranks from CNA to LPN to RN. For the past eleven years, she’s worked as a travel nurse, allowing her to practice and live in 15 states throughout the U.S. Candy still works occasionally as a travel nurse but spends most of her time providing a supportive information and resources through TheGypsyNurse.com and it's affiliated social networks.

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10 Responses to Diagnosis: Burn-Out

  1. […] Diagnosis: Burn-out 0.000000 0.000000 Rate this:Spread the WordMoreLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  2. […] base with the family a little more frequently. I think that it will also allow for less ‘burn-out‘ that nurses are very prone to. Sounds like I’ve made my […]

  3. Another great article on Nurse Burn-out found @ http://rebeccarogersmaher.com/?p=681

  4. Antoinette says:

    Another optional treatment: take a career break and travel, write, learn another language, etc… Do that one or two things you’ve always wanted to do! 😉 People used to tell me I was burned out and I didn’t believe it; reading this post made me realize how intensely burned out I was all those months!

  5. CJ says:

    It saddens me to see ANYONE go through burnout. It spinned me around that is for sure! I believe it is an awakening…a way to light the internal “flame”. You need to find the grace in simplicity again…in spirit.
    YOU can move beyond it, but it takes time. :-)

  6. […] task.  The second after this thought went through my head I was devastated. This was beyond burn out. This was the end of an almost thirty year career at the bedside.  But my fatigue wasn’t just […]

  7. […] out of the rut and always experiencing new things in your work and […]

  8. […] task.  The second after this thought went through my head I was devastated. This was beyond burn out. This was the end of an almost thirty year career at the bedside.  But my fatigue wasn’t just […]

  9. […] talked in the past about Nurse Burnout being relieved by travel nursing but what happens when the travel nurse experiences burnout from […]

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