What’s CNA Burnout? Symptoms & Tips to Avoid

In this guide, we’ll comprehensively analyze all the causes & symptoms of burnout along with avoiding tips for this situation.

Many CNAs enter the healthcare field with motivation and passion for assisting others. They try to improve their patient’s life by curing their illness and caring for them. They are all warm-hearted, but soon they’ll realize their bodies & minds are suffering from burnout.

It is the most common experience of most CNAs due to the continuous feeling that they can’t fulfill their work requirements. They feel themselves to be in an endless stream of patients. This overwhelmed feeling can completely drain & exhaust you. As a result, most CNAs lose motivation for work and quit the field.

In this guide, we’ll comprehensively analyze all the causes & symptoms of burnout along with avoiding tips for this situation.

CNA Job Burnout

The emotional, mental and physical stress of one’s job is termed burnout or occupational burnout. Certified nursing assistants often experience CNA burnout, and they become insensitive & impatient with their patient’s needs. They remain unsatisfied and just go through activities.

What Are the Causes of CNA Burnout?

What's CNA Burnout? Symptoms & Tips to Avoid

Burnout is lethal as it can affect the life of a CNA. It is sad to see compassionate & bright CNAs leave the healthcare field. They start to resent the role they admire. Here are the fundamental causes of burnout:

Demanding Job

The biggest complaint of CNAs is the workload. The role of CNAs is demanding, and they’ve to do much within a short time.

Loss of Purpose

CNAs feel like they have lost the purpose of their job. Once a positive experience for them, this job has become a nightmare.

Lack of Appreciation

Lack of appreciation is another cause of burnout. After doing many duties, CNAs don’t get appreciated.

Confusion About Work Expectations

Most CNAs are confused about their work expectations & priorities. They don’t know how to prioritize their responsibilities or what they are expected to do, leading to stress and burnout.

Job Security

Most CNAs are insecure about their job, overstrain themselves, and are overwhelmed by job responsibilities, leading to burnout.

Low Wages

Another vital cause of burnout is the low salary of CNAs. The wages of CNAs are low compared to the responsibilities they’ve to fulfill. Due to this, they indulge themselves in overwork and get worn out.

Symptoms of CNA Burnout

Knowing the signs & symptoms of CNA burnout can assist you in dealing with it beforehand. The most common symptoms include:

Emotional Changes

Emotional changes are the first symptom of CNA burnout.t Initially, as a CNA, you used to enjoy your work, like helping residents and assisting co-workers. But with time, you’ll be annoyed by their constant demands. Lack of appreciation & ongoing work will influence your job performance and impact you emotionally as you’ll

  • Turn rude or cynical and lose interest in the job.
  • Look for reasons to get leave.
  • Ask to go home early regularly.
  • Easily get annoyed with co-workers.
  • Jealous of those who enjoy their job.
  • Stop evaluating yourself, whether or not you’re doing good.


Even after having a good night’s sleep, soon it’ll become difficult for you to get out of bed. You will throw away anything for a nap & may develop stomach issues or headaches. You may get obese or weak due to the change in appetite.


The fear of the end of the holidays will dominate you as you will have to go to work the next day. Sometimes you have to do the weekend shift, making you think of the stuff you had planned for the weekend. It will be challenging to focus on work while worrying about other things. It may lead you to anxiety and stress.

What to Do If You Suspect CNA Burnout?

Here’re some tactics you can employ to get rid of this situation:

Analyze Your Routine

Firstly, analyze your routine, and look for things that bother you like, any situation that frustrates you, or some thankless tasks you hate. Sometimes it’s not the colleagues or specific patients but the types of personalitiesthat irritate you. It will be helpful to know your triggers as you can talk to your supervisor or plan what to do.

Prioritize Yourself First

Look if you are doing more work than other colleagues or extra shifts as one of your co-workers is on sick leave. Analyze your workload and see if you can minimize it. 

Keep A Journal

Daily take a few minutes to note how you helped others or made a difference in their lives. It will give you a broader view of how vital your role is. To self-motivate, you only must see your role in the bigger picture.

Consider Working Environment

In the end, you should evaluate whether you need another setting or different kinds of patients, like obstetrics rather than oncology or rehabilitation rather than a nursing home/facility. Or maybe you are ready for your career’s next level.

The consequence of CNA Burnout

Burnout can be very dangerous, don’t take it lightly. It may require treatment or relief to tackle the consequences of CNA burnout. CNA burnout can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Drug abuse of alcohol
  • Negative effect on personal life & relationships with friends, family, or co-workers.
  • Decrease immunity to illnesses.
  • Medical issues like diabetes (type 2), elevated cholesterol level, cardiac disease, or stroke.

Due to these ongoing consequences, CNAs may get fired or quit their job leading to financial issues. Burnout and stress are different, although symptoms of both are pretty similar. Signs and symptoms of defining factor stress come and goes. But burnout feeling doesn’t fade away quickly, and its symptoms linger ongoing.

How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout?

Keep a work-life balance from the first day as a nursing assistant onward. Although you’re excited about your new job overdoing work can affect your life and health. Here’re some tips to avoid burnout.

Take Care of Yourself

If you stay healthy, strong, and well-rested, the chances of burnout are minimum. Drink plenty of water, sleep the whole night, exercise daily & eat healthy food. All these will help you to maintain yourself.

Stay Involved with Your Friends & Family

During your hectic job life don’t forget to spend time with your friends & family. It will release tension and stress. Staying in touch with important people in your life is another way to avoid burnout.

Take Timeouts

Taking occasional breaks during the shift is also helpful in avoiding burnout. Spend this time in a quiet area where there is no distraction from patients. Even if you get a break of 10 minutes, meditate or sit back, and breathe deeply with your eyes closed.

Manage Colleague Relations

Seek assistance from a supervisor if you’re not comfortable with your colleague. It’s better to manage colleague relations as it can spiral out of hand in no time in a stressful environment leading to burnout of most diligent CNAs.

Be Involved

Being actively involved in industry organizations (National Association of Healthcare Assistants) will support you in performing your job optimally. Having membership will disclose continuing education and networking opportunities.

Be Organized

Keep your workplace organized and tidy. Ensure you’ve all things you need on hand. When a CNA cannot find the items he needs when he needs them, this situation burns him more quickly. Proper organization lowers the chances of burnout.

Handle Stress Effectively

Try to handle the stress by using effective stress management techniques. While heading home after work, don’t think about work. Learn to say No to your colleagues requesting assistance when you’re overloaded with work. Give yourself plenty of time to refresh and rejuvenate yourself.

Delegate Duties

It is good to ask for help when it’s necessary. Don’t act like a hero by trying to do many duties alone. When you have to do extra work, seek others’ help to provide quality care. Likewise, you’d also help your co-workers when it’s mandatory.

Exercise Daily

Daily exercise will keep you healthy and sturdy, enabling you to accomplish your duties energetically. Find a suitable time for exercise and make it a habit.

Probe New Opportunities

At times, it feels like you are stuck in a nut. Consider exploring educational opportunities and advanced careers if you outgrow your position as a nursing assistant. Aim to become an RN; it will make your CNA job more meaningful.

Healthcare assistants must understand burnout & the devastation it can cause in their personal & professional life. Comprehending burnout, its causes, & and its symptoms can enable CNAs to tackle the crisis before it spirals out of hand. Tips to avoid burnout are also useful dealt the situation.

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