6 Tips for Healthcare Workers to Limit Burnout and Stress


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The word “healthcare worker” refers to a wide range of occupations, as the field of healthcare includes many professions. Direct care workers such as physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, speech-language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, and Allied health professionals such as medical laboratory technicians make up the healthcare workforce. They play a crucial role in promoting access to quality healthcare and administering preventive, rehabilitative, and curative services to communities everywhere. Nonetheless, a career in the healthcare field comes with various challenges and hurdles. 

Burnout and Stress in Healthcare Workers
Healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses tend to patients of different ages, backgrounds, medical needs, and demographics. But, unlike physicians, nurses are readily available to assist and support patients in an emergency. A nurse’s services stretch beyond merely providing drugs and other essential treatments. They’re in charge of patients’ holistic care, which includes examining and monitoring the patient and noting any pertinent information to help them make treatment decisions. Today, the scope of the nursing profession is fast-transforming, compelling nurses to take on higher leadership roles. 

In today’s era, several nurses are striving for higher positions and further enhancing their skillset by pursuing higher education. For instance, the trend of FNPs enrolling in Master of Science in Nursing FNP Degree to attain career advancement is evident. However, while nurses are climbing the ladder to career success, their responsibilities and roles are also expanding. And this is paving the way for workplace stress, which eventually leads to burnout among nurses. 

Healthcare professionals tirelessly work day in and day out to devise effective treatment strategies for their patients and ensure optimal quality care. Since the job of a healthcare professional is exceptionally demanding and hectic, the fast-paced environment, challenging patients, or even a staffing deficit are all likely to cause burnout. Excessive and sustained work-related stress can lead to a high risk of burnout, a state of emotional, bodily, and mental weariness. Burnout saps your vitality and lowers productivity, leaving you feeling helpless, depressed, and resentful. An individual may eventually feel as though they have nothing left to contribute.

Some symptoms that signify burnout are:

  • Fatigue and constant tiredness
  • Low concentration and focus
  • Detachment from patients
  • Loss of motivation and purpose
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Low morale
  • Insomnia
  • Negativity towards others

How to Reduce Stress and Burnout?

The stress and exhaustion don’t go away on their own, and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for burnout. A health worker can reduce the effect of burnout by making proactive decisions in ways that eliminate or lessen the elements that contribute to burnout. Here are some ways that one can espouse and reduce burnout:

  • A Balanced Diet

Diet is a mitigating and controllable component of burnout risk. Studies show that the quantity and types of meals consumed can be a factor to induce chronic stress, such as that experienced by burnout victims, contributing to both overeating and under-eating. 

In current times, COVID-19 has aggravated burnout in healthcare professionals who were already at risk. It’s normal for a health worker to slip into the pattern of an unbalanced diet due to their fast-paced, emotionally intense, and time-sensitive labor workload. For this reason, maintaining a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as flaxseed oil, walnuts, and salmon can help improve their bodily functions. In return, it allows them to reduce or even prevent burnout beforehand. 

  • Exercise

Regular exercise is another element that can curb stress and promote mental health. For a healthcare worker, it might be hard to take out time for regular physical exercise but making it a priority and finding time for it is crucial. It has been extensively documented that physical exercise, whether indoors or outdoors, can help maintain mental health, reduce fatigue, and improve overall cognitive function. 

According to a recent study, people who exercised outside felt more energized and had lower levels of tension, bewilderment, hostility, and melancholy. Finding an exercise companion, such as a neighbor or coworker, might help make exercise more enjoyable.

  • Proper Sleep Habits

Sleep is an effective stress reliever. A regular sleep pattern helps the body relax, repair, and improve focus. Healthcare workers become efficient problem solvers and can handle stress better when well-rested. On the other hand, sleep deprivation depletes their vitality and makes it difficult to think clearly.

Healthcare workers who don’t get enough sleep may find it hard to concentrate. According to a study, not getting enough sleep makes one more emotionally reactive, impulsive, and sensitive to negative stimuli. The sleep-related cognitive deficiencies can lead to several stressors, ranging from interpersonal concerns to job performance issues. So, to limit such errors and reduce burnout, having a proper sleep pattern is indispensable.

  • Setting Boundary

Boundaries express not simply a need for physical space but also our underlying beliefs, self-respect, and a desire for safety and security. It’s significant to set boundaries in work and not get too worked up and personally invested in your patient’s life. Otherwise, it’ll keep you consumed outside your office as well. It’s also crucial to avoid taking every responsibility assigned and approving every task for yourself that looks pending.

Setting boundaries with work and patients early on will assist healthcare workers in achieving a healthier work-life balance, preventing and reducing stress and burnout.

  •  Breaks and Self-Care

Having a life outside the workplace is integral to ensuring your well-being. Healthcare workers often feel drained of energy, find it hard to concentrate, or stay motivated in the same environment. For this purpose, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on your emotional state and take a break. 

A time for self-care goes a long way. In that case, it is beneficial to allow time for introspection, meditation, and spending time with your loved ones. Listening to inspirational talks or reading inspirational literature may also help recharge and get rid of burnout.

  • Socializing

Given the prevalence of social activities, healthcare personnel may benefit from a greater understanding of the impacts of socializing on job stress recovery. Several opportunities are provided to people to meet with their peers in work and non-work contexts on a typical day. A thorough understanding of the relationship between socializing and personal work stress levels and recovery could lead to more effective work-related stress management approaches on and off the workplace.



Doctors, Physicians, Nurses – the healthcare workers are an asset to our society. And hence there is no denying that their health should also be considered a priority.

Stress and burnout in the healthcare industry are risky as it harms – both healthcare workers and patients. Healthcare workers are more likely to become unwell, quit their jobs, or put patients’ health at risk due to the constant stress. Therefore, proactively tackling the situation can serve as a significant step in ensuring reduced burnout and improved workplace performance. 


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