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Pandemic-era burnout: Nurses in the trenches say technology hurts and helps

Pandemic-era burnout: Nurses in the trenches say technology hurts and helps

Beyond the stress of increasing patient volumes and emotionally draining hospital shifts, RNs are grappling with alert and alarm fatigue, burdensome documentation, and EHR usability. But they’re finding ways to cope – and AI and automation are helping.

Nurses, the backbone of healthcare, typically have to deal with serious levels of burnout – the COVID-19 pandemic has made the problem that much worse: 61% of nurses have emotional and physical fatigue, according to a new survey of 226 nurses titled “Leading in Times of Crisis” by Inspire Nurse Leaders, a nursing education organization.

Meanwhile, 53% cite challenges with inadequate staffing; 35% say it’s difficult to meet work and family demands; 28% wish for more adequate support programs for emotional needs and wellbeing; and 25% say they’ve suffered compassion fatigue in dealing with traumatic events, the survey found.

In this, Healthcare IT News’ fifth feature story on Burnout in the Age of COVID-19, six nurses talk about dealing with the myriad stresses in the trenches, offer tips on how best to cope – and describe how healthcare information technology can contribute to burnout, but also help nurses fight it.


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