More than six out of 10 French-speaking nurses (62%) risk suffering from burnout, SIZ Nursing, the society of Francophone intensive care nurses of Belgium, stated on Friday in a press release.
About 22% of respondents in an ongoing survey by SIZ Nursing said they felt a high level of loss of personal accomplishment, 33% felt greatly dehumanised, and 46% suffered from a high degree of burnout, the society said.
More than 3,500 nurses have already participated in the survey, which continues until 11 May and is led by nurses Pierre Smith, doctoral researcher at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), and Arnaud Bruyneel, doctoral student at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), who is also president of president of SIZ Nursing.
The study has revealed thus far that 68% of male nurses risk burnout compared to 61% of their female colleagues. Younger nurses of either sex with fewer years of seniority showed a higher burnout risk.
Some 70% of respondents said their workloads had increased since the new coronavirus pandemic broke out, and they had an 83% higher risk of burnout compared to those whose workload had remained unchanged.
Smith and Bruyneel also noted that an insufficient supply of adequate coronavirus (Covid-19) equipment increased the risk of burnout by 65%. Overall, 61% of respondents said they did not have enough adequate coronavirus equipment in their workplaces, but the percentages were even higher in nursing homes and care facilities (66% of respondents), revalidation and reeducation centres (71%), psychiatric hospital services (74%) and home-care nursing services(81%).
The results of the survey show that consideration needs to be given to the mental and physical health of nurses to avoid an even greater shortage of nursing staff, SIZ Nursing pointed out in its press release.
“Making enough adequate equipment for Covid-19 available and having enough nurses in the services therefore seem to us to be non-negotiable prerequisites for the health of nursing staff and their patients,” the society noted. It also recommended an urgent upgrading of the profession, with a hazard allowance, given the current health crisis.