• Providing support to doctors working in intensive care

      Murphy, JFA (Irish Medical Journal, 2012-05)
      ‘Jading’ is a process of exhaustion in which apathy and cynicism replace the drive to be responsive and caring. ‘Burnout’ a term first coined in the psychology literature in 1974 was based on Graham Greene’s novel ‘A Burnt-Out Case1. It is the umbrella description for disengagement in the workplace setting characterised by withdrawal, denial and inefficiency. There is an alienation from the pressures of work. Marshall and Kasman2 defined it as ‘the loss of motivation for creative thought’. It is the opposite of engagement which is associated with energy and optimism. People who experience all 3 symptoms- emotional exhaustion, negative attitude towards patients, reduced sense of personal accomplishment- have the greatest degree of burnout. It doesn’t get better by being ignored. These processes have serious consequences for the individual involved and the hospital that they work in. The doctor underperforms and the Unit becomes dysfunctional There is decreased quality of care, increased absenteeism, and high staff turnover. There is an inability to make decisions and a failure to set priorities.