A burnout barometer to assess your work culture
Tools available at AACN website
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has created tools to address issues associated with a healthy work environment, including burnout and “compassion fatigue,” available at http://www.aacn.org/.
For example, the following is used as a work environment assessment where healthcare workers give a range of answers from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” Obviously, the more of the latter you have on this list the more concern is warranted about the work culture.
- Administrators, nurse managers, physicians, nurses, and other staff maintain frequent communication to prevent each other from being surprised or caught off guard by decisions.
- Administrators, nurse managers, and physicians involve nurses and other staff to an appropriate degree when making important decisions.
- Administrators and nurse managers work with nurses and other staff to make sure there are enough staff to maintain patient safety.
- The formal reward and recognition systems work to make nurses and other staff feel valued.
- Most nurses and other staff here have a positive relationship with their nurse leaders (managers, directors, advanced practice nurses, etc.).
- Administrators, nurse managers, physicians, nurses, and other staff make sure their actions match their words — they “walk their talk.”
- The right departments, professions, and groups are involved in important decisions.
- Support services are provided at a level that allows nurses and other staff to spend their time on the priorities and requirements of patient and family care.
- Nurse leaders (managers, directors, advanced practice nurses, etc.) demonstrate an understanding of the requirements and dynamics at the point of care, and use this knowledge to work for a healthy work environment.
- Administrators, nurse managers, physicians, nurses, and other staff have zero-tolerance for disrespect and abuse. If they see or hear someone being disrespectful, they hold them accountable regardless of the person’s role or position.
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has created tools to address issues associated with a healthy work environment, including burnout and “compassion fatigue."
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