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Why Nurses Get Burntout Working ‘Merely’ 3 Days A Week?

Is it true that nurses get burntout for working three days a week? The world faces a growing shortage of nurses to take care of a growing number of patients.

One of the reasons for the shortage is that, baby boomers are now placing a strain on the healthcare system. The nursing profession can’t find enough candidates to fill the hospital positions.

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Long days of work leave nurses burntout, causing many to quit jobs and join other professions. The nursing shortage is affecting hospitals especially in the UK and US.


You might be wondering how this can be so. After all, nurses can earn great salaries in the western countries. Nurses are caring people and love what they do. Nurses working three-days a week, makes no sense if so many already getting burntout

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Nurses are a special breed. They have a deep sense of caring and ability to nurture others, but often to a fault. Nurses can spend so much time caring for others and neglecting to take care of themselves. This is true, when the nurse has family obligations at home such as caring for small children.

They work three days a week, and do their fair share with unbelievable difficult patients. Let’s look at what a typical day is like for a nurse, and get a better perspective on why nurses getting burntout at work!

Into the Jungle

Nurses have a tremendous responsibility on their shoulders. They are responsible for the lives of many patients. When a patient has a crisis, nurses must stay with them until the crisis is over.


This means that a 12-hour workday can soon transform into a 16-hour day or more. This is not time spent sitting around. A nurse is on always on their feet moving from one task to another.


They must keep track of many different tasks at once, which is mentally exhausting.  At the end of the day, they may find, they have not completed their records for all their patients. But unlike a desk job, nurses can’t go home. They must stay until everything completed.

Nurses are always running to try to keep up with patient needs. It is both a physical and mentally demanding job.When your body and brain get tired, the stress can cause mistakes to occur that could affect a patient.

A nurse cannot make mistakes, because the consequences could be dire and no nurse can live with. The nursing responsibility to patients means, there is no allowance for second best.


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Nurses deal with emotions on everyday, there is no time to stop, cry or process what they have seen. Nurses don’t get chance to have breaks, while another call light is on. A 16-hour day leaves even the most competent nurse tired and making that dream job seem like a day in purgatory.

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No Rest For the Weary

With body and brain on their last leg, the end of the long workday finally comes to an end. There comes a time when all the body wants to do is sleep, but for the nurse, the day may not be over yet. With less than eight hours until the next long shift starts, nurses must settle down for a short night of sleep.
The alarm goes off, and the nurse must force themselves to get up, get a shower for another long marathon day. The body and mind are still screaming that, they have not had enough rest and recovery time. There is more needed, much more. Yet, the nurse must somehow find the strength to go do it all again.


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At the end of second long shift, the nurse must take care of family obligations and get a second short night of sleep. After the third day shift, with no time to rest between patients. Nurses get burntout, and no matter how much they love and want to serve humanity.

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When Dreams Become Nightmares

Most nursing students get excited, and can’t wait to get out on the floor doing, what they love the most. When the reality starts to set in, the dream can seem much more like a nightmare. We talked about the long hours, lack of sleep and responsibility that affects nurses on the job.



nurses stress and burntout


They care for dying patients, as they take last breath and then move onto another patient. Being a nurse is a thankless job and is a dangerous one too. There is always possibility of getting stuck with a dirty needle or hurt while lifting a patient.

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Nurses may work three days a week, and they make a good money for doing so, but in those three days, they are in a combat zone. Their job is more like a soldier on the battlefield than any other occupation.

The three-day work week is short, takes the first three of a four-day time off, to recover to be able to do it again. Being a nurse requires making emergency decisions, plans, interventions and leaves nurses burntout. Think about this the next time you or your loved ones need their services.


Avoiding nurses burntout

A kind word can go a long way to making a nurse’s day. Nurses are the unsung heroes, and we cannot repay them, except letting them get a little more sleep.

If you love nurses and believe they are doing a good job saving lives? Please show your appreciation by sharing and commenting below. Do you have any idea or suggestions to help nurses?


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