Nurse and Physician Burnout: How Finding Your Purpose Can Help


Imagine a world in which every nurse and physician knew their purpose. Imagine that life-saving work was done with ease, joy, and enthusiasm because it was in line with each person's unique gifts and talents. Just imagine the difference it would make.


Now, look at the reality of the situation.


Nurses and physicians are burning out at alarming rates. According to the NIHCM Foundation, "In 2019, as many as 54% of nurses and physicians reported emotional exhaustion scores that qualified as "high burnout." Whereas Verywell Health reported, "The proportion of doctors with "above threshold" stress levels is 28% compared to the general population. This leads to higher emotional exhaustion rates: 24% for the general population, but 43% for doctors."


This information shows us that something is very wrong. And it's not just the environment they work in or the long hours. It's something much more profound. So, what exactly is the cause of this epidemic? And more importantly, what can be done about it?

What are the Causes of Physician and Nurse Burnout?


There are many factors that contribute to nurse and physician burnout. From long hours to on-call shifts to paperwork and red tape, it's no wonder that so many healthcare professionals are feeling the strain. Let's break down some of the most common causes of physician and nurse burnout.


Long Hours


It's not uncommon for nurses and physicians to work 12-hour shifts, with some working even longer. It can be challenging to find time to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally with such long days. Add in the fact that many healthcare professionals are on call, and it's no wonder that burnout is such a common issue.


Lack of Control


One of the most significant contributing factors to burnout is a lack of control. It's tough to stay motivated when you feel like you're constantly swimming against the tide.


Hospitals are complex organizations, and nurses and physicians often feel like they're at the mercy of the system. They want to do their best for their patients, but are hamstrung by bureaucracy and red tape. This can lead to a feeling of powerlessness and frustration.



Productivity Over Wellbeing


The modern healthcare system is designed in a way that promotes productivity over well-being. With ever-increasing demands and longer shifts, it's no wonder that nurses and physicians are struggling to keep up.


This is not a sustainable way to live or work. When we don't take the time to care for ourselves, it's only a matter of time before we start to burn out.


A Competitive Nature


Hospitals and clinics are also becoming more and more competitive. With so many qualified candidates vying for the same positions, nurses and physicians feel the pressure to be perfect.


The pressure to perform can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, which ultimately forces many healthcare professionals to turn to alcohol and drugs as a way to cope. However, this then begs the question, who helps the helpers? Who is there to support nurses and physicians when they are struggling?


Lack of Purpose


Finally, one of the most significant contributing factors to nurse practitioner burnout is a lack of purpose. When we're not living in alignment with our values and gifts, our work feels like a burden instead of a joy.


The power of purpose lies within its ability to connect us to our deepest passions and motivate us to keep going, even when the going gets tough. Finding your purpose is not a one-time event. It's an ongoing journey that ebbs and flows throughout your life. The key is to keep searching, although it might feel like you're lost at sea sometimes.


Finding your purpose is essential to enjoying a fulfilling healthcare career. But how do hospitals and clinics ensure that their employees live and work with purpose? How do you, as a nurse or physician, find your purpose?


How to Find Purpose


When a person is clear on their purpose, everything changes. Their work becomes an extension of who they are instead of something that drains them. They have a built-in reason to keep going, even when the going gets tough. Their sense of fulfillment skyrockets because they use their God-given gifts to make a difference in the world.


So, how does one find their purpose?


Well, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer, but there are a few steps a person can take to start uncovering what truly lies within. Let's start with what nurses and physicians can do for themselves, and then move on to what hospital and clinic managers can do to support their people.


Finding Your Purpose: For Nurses and Physicians


Get Quiet


The first step is to get quiet. Amid our hectic lives, it can be challenging to find the time and space to just be. But if you want to connect with your purpose, you must take some time for yourself.


Try meditation, journaling, or simply spending time in nature. When you quiet your mind, you open up the space to start hearing the whispers of your heart.


Listen to Your Heart


Speaking of your heart, the second step is to start listening to it. What are you passionate about? What makes you feel alive? When you are clear on what you want, it becomes much easier to take steps towards achieving it.


If you're not sure what your heart is saying, start exploring. Try new things and say yes to new experiences. The more you open yourself up to possibilities, the easier it will be to find your path.


Follow Your Intuition


The third step is to follow your intuition. You've gotten quiet, you've listened to your heart, and now it's time to act. Your intuition will guide you if you let it. Trust that you know what's best for you, and don't be afraid to follow your gut.


When you are in alignment with your purpose, the universe has a way of opening doors that lead you exactly where you need to go.

Acquire Support


Most notably, remember that you're not alone. You never are. Finding your purpose is a journey, and there will be times when you need support.


Finding your purpose can be difficult, and it's essential to have people in your corner who believe in you. Discover a mentor, join a supportive community, or ask the higher-ups to invest in your development.


Finding Employee Purpose: For Chiefs and Managers


Helping your nurses and physicians uncover their purpose is not only the right thing to do; it's also good for business. When your employees live and work with purpose, they are more engaged, more productive, and less likely to burn out. There are a few things you can do as a leader to support your team in finding their purpose.


Get to Know Your Team


The first step is to get to know your team. What are their interests? What motivates them? When you understand what makes your employees tick, you can start to match them with roles and responsibilities that fit their strengths and passions.


Encourage Development


The second step is to encourage development. What growth opportunities can you provide for your employees? When people feel like they are learning and growing, they are more likely to be engaged in their work.


Create a Purpose-Driven Culture


The third step is to create a purpose-driven culture. What is the purpose of your organization? How can you help your employees connect with that purpose? When everyone is working towards the same goal, it's easier to maintain focus and stay on track.


Try ''The Purpose Journey'' By Go Beyond


Believe it or not, all the above can be achieved by doing one thing: investing in The Purpose Journey by GoBeyond. It's not enough to just talk about purpose, you must walk the walk as well.


As a leader, you can support your team by investing in their development and creating a culture that values growth and discovery. When you do, you'll create a more engaged, productive, and purpose-filled workforce. And that's good for everyone.


So, go ahead and try the Purpose Journey by Go Beyond. Go Beyond helps professionals of all phases of their careers discover their life's true purpose by using insights from our own, real-world experience to create a superior understanding of what they're meant to be doing.


The Purpose Journey was created to help your organizations deliver greater fulfillment and well-being to its people. Our process uses the latest neuroscience and research on decision-making to help individuals understand their unique purpose.


We focus on:

●  Aligning an individual's purpose with a shared mission - Purpose-driven employees are 125% more productive.

●  We use unique tools to activate authentic engagement - Purpose-driven leaders have employees that are 100% more likely to stay.

●  Your staff will be able to make better decisions about wealth, health, and relationships - Purpose is correlated with higher net worth and stronger social ties.

●  We transform you from corporate to community - Organizations with a purpose beyond profit outperform their peers.


If you are interested in learning more about how we can help your organization, don't hesitate to contact us at We would be happy to discuss how we can partner with you to create a more purpose-filled workplace for all the wonderful nurses and physicians on your team.


Final Thoughts


If you're a nurse or physician struggling with burnout, know that you're not alone. Finding your purpose is the first step in reclaiming your joy and enthusiasm for your work. When you connect to your why, the how becomes so much easier. So, keep searching, and never give up on yourself. After all, the world needs you.


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