The elderly woman enjoys an embrace from her favorite home healthcare nurse.
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A growing body of research points to ways home care providers can protect staff members from burnout — and reduce turnover. 

The researchers analyzed eight studies related to home care work environments conducted between 2005 and 2022. They found that the organizations with the most resilient workers tended to provide more comprehensive self-care, mentorship and training opportunities. By creating a more resilient workforce, home and community care nurses are more likely to be satisfied with their work, according to the study published in Home Health Care Services Quarterly.

Strategies to improve staff members’ resilience must be applied organizationwide, the researchers stressed. Promoting individual self-care, for example, was a relatively ineffective strategy to reduce burnout as it places the responsibility of combating burnout solely on employees’ shoulders, according to the study.

“Self-care approaches … cannot be applied or practiced during work hours,” they wrote. “This would suggest an individual — not organizational or systemic – understanding of resiliency.”

Many studies included in the review suggested that support from management can make employees less susceptible to burnout and thereby reduce turnover rates. Adequate orientation and training were key factors shaping workers’ perception of the level of support received from their employer.

Additionally, home and community care employees valued workplace safety, the analysis found. Safety has lately become top-of-mind for many home care providers. On May 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Elara Caring for failing to protect its workers from workplace violence. Following the citation, industry experts have called on home care providers to upgrade their safety practices.

The most important factor shaping workers’ resilience to burnout and turnover is staffing adequacy, the study indicated.

“When resources are inadequate, the work is even more challenging and less fulfilling, which burdens the [home and community care] nurse and negatively influences their resilience,” the researchers wrote. “The most common factor shaping resiliency was staffing shortages. Staff shortfalls contribute to increased workloads, longer working hours, and less time for nurses to complete the tasks expected of them.”