27 February 2017

Stress and burnout in intensive care medicine

The authors of an opinion piece just published in the Medical Journal of Australia warn of an increasing risk of burnout in intensive care medicine, which could have a major impact on patient care.  ICU doctors and nurses have been shown to have higher rates of burnout symptoms than workers in other health specialties including emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and reduced professional achievement. 

The article points out that intensive care medicine is becoming increasingly complex, with repeated exposure to “high stakes, ethically challenging decision-making processes”. The authors call for a multilevel response to improve the welfare and sustainability of the intensive care medicine workforce.

Simpson N, Knott CI. Stress and burnout in intensive care medicine: an Australian perspective
Medical Journal of Australia. 2017;206(3):107-8.

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