Understanding and addressing burnout in the workplace

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Burnout isn’t new, but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic it may have become more prevalent—and harder to address. But letting burnout go unchecked only makes the problem worse. How can you spot warning signs, and what can you do to stop burnout in its tracks?

Burnout was a hot topic even prior to the pandemic. In a 2019 Washington Post article, experts from fields ranging from healthcare to education discussed the causes and effects of burnout and shared their personal experiences.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new major stressors and amplified many existing ones. A 2021 survey conducted by Indeed found that, compared to a previous study released in January 2020, burnout is on the rise, with 52% of respondents experiencing burnout compared to 43% who reported burnout pre-pandemic.

So, what is burnout? Burnout is more than just feeling exhausted after a busy week or being in a bad mood after a difficult day, according to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. It’s a consequence of severe, prolonged stress that can cause physical and mental symptoms. Burnout is listed as an occupational phenomenon, but not a medical condition, in ICD-11 and is characterized as:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • Reduced personal efficacy


Burnout can be measured using a variety of tools, some of which are occupation-specific.

Burnout can be addressed, and taking action to prevent or reverse it could itself help give you back a sense of control and purpose. According to the Mayo Clinic, simple steps that support general physical and mental well-being, such as exercise, getting quality sleep, and mindfulness, can reduce burnout.

If your burnout is connected to your job, identify the specific parts of your job that are causing stress. With staffing shortages common, many revenue integrity professionals may have been asked to temporarily take on additional duties. However, if that temporary situation goes on for too long you may find yourself getting burned out. Or changes in your department may have left you with a new job title but lacking clear expectations. With these specific items in mind, set up time to talk to your manager about your concerns and work together to find a solution.

Have you experienced burnout at work or helped a colleague or staff member address burnout? Tell NAHRI about your experiences here.

Found in Categories: 
Program Management, Revenue Integrity