Aims and Objectives
The many negative effects of burnout have prompted researchers to better understand the factors contributing to it. The purpose of this paper is to add to this body of knowledge through the study of burnout among direct care workers (DCWs) in nursing homes (NH).
Perhaps the factor most often associated with employee burnout is the level of staffing—insufficient staffing results in work overload and eventually employee burnout. A closer look at research findings suggest that there are many other factors also contributing to burnout. These range from those at the organizational level, such as availability of training and resources to individual characteristics such as self-esteem and length of employment.
A self-administered survey instrument was completed by 410 DCWs working within 11 NHs in the north Texas region. Regression analyses were performed, adjusting for clustering by NH. Beta coefficients and structure coefficients are reported. Burnout was measured through three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment.
Organizational, work design, interpersonal, and individual characteristics were found to be associated with one or more dimensions of burnout.
The analyses largely support previous research. Organizational variables of significance included the availability of resources to do the work, available training, and fair pay. Work design variables of significance included adequate staffing. The individual characteristic, self-esteem, appeared to have the strongest impact on burnout. Commitment to the organization also had a large impact.
Relevance to Clinical Practice
While the data do not allow for the testing of causal relationships, the data do suggest that providing adequate staffing, perceived fair pay, sufficient work resources (e.g., towels, gowns), management support, and adequate training may result in less DCW burnout on the job.
Dale E. Yeatts, Gul Seckin, Yuying Shen, Michael Thompson, Dana Auden, Cynthia M. Cready
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 10 January 2018