Burnout among National Association of Social Workers Healthcare Social Workers

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Public Policy and Administration


Lori Demeter


Burnout is a common occurrence for many healthcare social workers, though little academic literature addresses the impacts of the organizational environment on burnout among healthcare social workers. The purpose of this correlational study was to evaluate what organizational factors predict burnout in the healthcare environment while considering sociodemographic and organizational factors. An adaptation of Maslach's multidimensional theory of burnout served as the framework for this study. Surveys were distributed to members of the National Association of Social Workers who are employed in healthcare environments, resulting in a sample size of 237 useable responses. A multiple linear regression statistical analysis indicated that workload, reward, values, and level of care predicted emotional exhaustion, and therefore the potential for burnout (p < .001). Findings were consistent with the theoretical framework employed. Policy implications include the need for healthcare environments to develop standard operating procedures to address organizational barriers for social workers that contribute to social workers burnout. Implications for social change include an identified need to address burnout through healthcare organizations, professional associations, and academia using education, intervention, and policy.

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