The influence of burnout on skills retention of junior doctors at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital: A case study
Background. The research explores the significance of burnout and the role it plays in the retention of junior doctors at RXH. There has been an increase in the migration of medical doctors worldwide, with an exodus of doctors from South Africa. Along with the effects of HIV/AIDS, this places extra strain on those who remain.
Methodology. A two-part, mixed quantitative and qualitative study consisting of a validated measure, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, was sent to 39 junior doctors at RXH. Responses were received from 23 doctors (one of which was invalid), constituting a 60% response rate. The second part consisted of four semi-structured interviews.
Results. Of the 22 respondents, 100% experienced a high degree of burnout on one of the three scales of burnout, namely emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and reduced accomplishment. Of those surveyed, 95% expressed an intention to leave RXH.
Conclusion. The degree of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation experienced by the junior doctors at RXH was significantly higher than that in a normative sample of 1 104 doctors. Recruitment, improved management and planning, increased support, mentorship and a more empathetic administration were some of the factors suggested to mitigate the burnout experienced by the junior doctors.
J M Stodel, UCT GSB
A Stewart-Smith, UCT GSB
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Date published: 2011-01-27
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