Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
Midwifery is a caring profession and caring professionals are prone to burnout. Burnout leads to indifference to those in your care and a feeling that your job is not worth it and that nobody cares for you. The ultimate problem is that it leads to psychological morbidity and to absence from work.
This article from Australia titled: 'Personal, professional and workplace factors that contribute to burnout in Australian midwives' by Fenwick et al (2017) and published in JAN is based on a study that aimed to: 'identify personal, professional and workplace factors that contribute to burnout in midwives'. A survey of over 1000 midwives using a burnout questionnaire showed that nearly half of the midwives were suffering from severe burnout. Midwives were more burned out in some states of Australia than others; for example, burnout was highest in Victoria and lowest in South Australia. A caseload model of care was associated with lowest burnout and also those less happy at work were more burned out.
The authors conclude: 'Understanding the factors contributing to burnout will enable healthcare organizations to reduce costs associated with staff attrition, reduce human costs in regard to the health and well-being of midwives and most importantly, improve the health and safety of women and their newborns. Flexible, activity-based work patterns afforded in midwifery caseload models should be the norm.
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Fenwick, J., Lubomski, A., Creedy, D. K. and Sidebotham, M. (2017), Personal, professional and workplace factors that contribute to burnout in Australian midwives. J Adv Nurs. doi:10.1111/jan.13491