Occupational Burnout among Mexican professionals
Occupational burnout refers to the exhaustion derived from work performances and it is close to the emotional range, this in consequence of doing too many work in a short amount of time, or, performing tasks that can develop anxiety or feeling guilty if not doing them properly. Unlike Chronic Fatigue Syndrome being intense and continuous weariness of at least 6 months, occupational burnout is characterized by work inefficiency, fatigue, and indifference.
This affection is considered as a risk factor at work, as it affects life quality, mental health and can even put life at risk. Mexico is, at a global scale, on the top, with excessive work days and less vacation days a year than other countries, according to the OECD. The EMEDO study (Mexican Scale of Occupational Burnout) performed by the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) to more than 500 professionals among 25 and 40, showed that 100% manifested a degree of stress and 60% manifested high levels of stress, and physical injures as well.
Occupational burnout was identified mainly on hospital environments. Nurse are among the most affected by fatigue, as well as people working on customer care, like: doctors, teachers, police, social assistants, psychiatrists, psychologists, among others. Nonetheless, this phenomena has evolved. Professionals from other areas can also manifest characteristics of burnout, like:
- Tiredness or emotional fatigue: progressive loss of energy, weariness, fatigue.
- Depersonalization: as a defense from the individual to protect against impotency and frustration sentiments.
- Abandonment of personal fulfillment: work loses value.
- Other signs: denial, complaints, fear, depression, anger, addictions, personality changes, guiltiness, excessive work load, changes on hygiene habits, food intake changes, weight gain or loss, memory loss, problems to focus, and sleep disorders.
Treatment for burnout consist of creating strategies to modify feelings or thoughts on:
- The personal process to adapt to daily expectations.
- An equilibrium on vital aspects: family, friends, hobbies, rest, work.
- Create a good environment of work: common areas, common objectives.
- Limit the work agenda.
- Continuous renovation of day work.
Reviewers: Brenda Giselle Álvarez Rodríguez (Public Health Research Unit), and Cassandra Saldaña Pineda (Knowledge Management Unit).
- Article: “Burnout syndrome and its prevalence in primary care nursing: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. BMC Family Practice (2018)
- Article: “Síndrome de Burnout”. Medicina Legal de Costa Rica, 32(1), 119-124.
- Secretariat of Health
- CONACYT (National Council of Science and Technology).