Caregiver Burnout: The relationship with Caring Patients Suffering from Dementia

Choose one older adult nursing issue and in your own words provide a clear, comprehensive, and accurate description of the issue; Describe why this issue interested you; Analyse and critique the chosen older adult nursing issue; Take a stance on the issue, including integrating your personal values and beliefs about the issue. What is the role of the nurse in addressing this issue in nursing practice?
Care-giving practitioners contribute much to the betterment of the health care delivery system. They are the individuals who are mostly responsible for providing care to those who are in need of it. In the context of taking care of older adults, the role of the nursing professional becomes more pronounced and explicit. It should be noted that it is in respect of providing care to the older adults that nurses often experience burnout.
The primary purpose of the paper is to discuss, analyze and evaluate the issue of nursing burnout as it is related to providing care to older adult. The paper would strive for establishing a relationship between nursing burnout and care-providing to older adults. Moreover, the paper would specifically discuss about the relationship between providing care to patients suffering from dementia and nursing burnout. 
Caregiving burnout is an issue that has gradually taken the shape of a menace. Nurse practitioners, in the course of providing care to the patient, often feel stressed, anxious, depressed and all these contribute to burnout in the course of performing their job roles and care-giving duties. It has been often observed that nurses taking care of older adults suffering from dementia suffer from stresses and burnouts on a frequent basis. Providing long-term care is itself a hectic job and when it comes to provide care to a patient of dementia, the degree of burnout on the part of the nursing practitioner eventually rises.
The topic has triggered interest primarily because the ageing population of the nation is on the rise and this paves the way for the emergence of the need of more nursing care provision to older adults suffering from dementia. Keeping in mind the relationship between the aging population and the shortage of nursing practitioners, the issue of nursing burnout seems quite valid for explicit discussion and evaluation. 
Providing care to older adults suffering from dementia is really stressful for nursing practitioners and this often becomes the reason of nurses’ burnout. It is to be noted that individuals involved in the profession of care-giving and nursing “have been found to be vulnerable to the development of burnout and research has suggested a relationship between dementia care and burnout. Literature suggests, that the development of burnout may be linked to a number of factors, including lack of reciprocity, low self-efficacy and organizational factors” (Duffy, Oyebode & Allen, 2009).
It is noteworthy that the importance of counteracting burnout in the care of patient suffering from dementia has to be stressed and emphasized keeping in mind the effective and noble role that nursing practitioners play in terms of providing care to older adults. Patient of dementia often fails to reciprocate to the care processes provided by the nursing practitioner and this feeling of lack of feedback impacts negatively on the psychological condition of the concerned nursing professional. In this regard it must be taken into account that “Regression analysis showed that ‘experience of feed-back at work’ and ‘time spent at present place of work’ were the most important factors when explaining burnout among the staff” (Astrom et al., 1991).
Whenever the nursing practitioner feels that he/she is not getting the needed feedback or reciprocation, their morale alleviates and the degree of motivation lowers. All these result in nurses’ burnout in a thorough manner. From the perspective of personal value it has been believed that nursing professionals try their best to provide thorough care to patient suffering from dementia but when they gradually start understanding that they are not experiencing reciprocation or they do not have the access to proper resources, they become stressed and exhausted (Edberg et al., 2008).
In other words it can be said that “The nurses’ experience could be understood as a desire to do the best for the people in their care by trying to alleviate their suffering and enhance their quality of life. When they did not have the resources, opportunity or ability to do this, it caused strain” (Edberg et al., 2008). Moreover, it should be taken into account that most of the investigations exploring the effects of stress and burnout on the health of nurses working in acute care and long term care settings have found that those nursing practitioners who are devoted to providing care to demented patients are the ones who suffer from exhaustion/burnout more than their counterparts providing care to different type of patients suffering from different type of ailment (Jennings, 2008). 
Nurses’ burnout is a serious issue that should be addressed and the problem must be mitigated in a proper manner. But it must be noted that nursing leadership must come forward to contribute to the mitigation of this problem. Nurses have their own roles to play in order to alleviate the degree of burnout. Some specific interventions must be performed in order to reduce nurses’ burnout. The first intervention would be to guide the nurses properly to air their voice against overwork and undue stresses produced by undue pressures.
The second intervention that must be performed is that; nursing leaders must recognize the demands placed by the nurses and they must validate the nurses’ concerns, and through best practices and common sense, use the leadership skills to provide support to the exhausted nurses (Bettencourt, 2017). It must be noted that if nursing leaders can show their support explicitly then the nurses would feel more empowered and less exhausted. Finally, training must be provided to nursing professionals in order to cope with job-related anxieties and stress.
Such training sessions should put emphasis on individual growth and development of nurses and their ability to cope with stress and burnout. One must take into account the fact that validation lowers nurses’ stress levels because they start feeling that their problems are being heard. It should be noted that “Open dialogue provides the nursing leader a forum to foster best practices, find workable solutions for departmental issues, and teach leadership skills through mentoring sessions” (Bettencourt, 2017). 
In conclusion, the primary purpose of the paper had been to discuss, analyze and evaluate the issue of nursing burnout as it is related to providing care to older adult. The paper did strive for establishing a relationship between nursing burnout and care-providing to older adults. Moreover, the paper specifically discussed about the relationship between providing care to patients suffering from dementia and nursing burnout.

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Astrom, S., Nilsson, M., Norberg, A., Sandman, P., & Winblad, B. (1991). Staff burnout in dementia care—relations to empathy and attitudes. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 28(1), 65-75.
Bettencourt, E. (2017). Hospital Impact: Nurse Leadership's Role In Reducing Burnout. Retrieved February 8, 2018, from
Duffy, B., Oyebode, J.R., & Allen, J. (2009). Burnout among care staff for older adults with dementia: The role of reciprocity, self-efficacy and organizational factors. Dementia, 8(4), 515-541.
Edberg, A., Bird, M., Richards, D.A., Woods, R., Keeley, P., & Davis-Quarrell, V. (2008). Strain in nursing care of people with dementia: Nurses’ experience in Australia, Sweden and United Kingdom. Aging & Mental Health, 12(2), 236-243.
Jennings, B.M. (2008). Chapter 26: Work Stress and Burnout Among Nurses: Role of the Work Environment and Working Conditions. In R.G. Hughes (Ed.) Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US). 

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