Let's Talk About Burnout With Registered Nurse Adeola Folorunso
By: Dr. Tomi Mitchell
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In this episode, I, your host, Dr. Tomi Mitchell, had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Adeola Folorunso
About our Guest
Adeola started her career in Nursing as a diploma trained Nurse in 2009 and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada where she graduated with distinctions in 2015.
She has since then worked as a Registered Nurse(RN) till date. She obtained her master's in Health Administration at the University of Regina, Canada in 2020. In 2020, she obtained the designation, Certified Health Executive (CHE) with the Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders, Ottawa Canada.
As a Healthcare Leader, she is passionate about improving the Canadian, and the global Healthcare system through evidence-based practices.
She has worked in various domains of nursing; clinical, research, administration, and education both in Canada and in Nigeria. Immediately after graduating from Nursing School in Nigeria, she worked as a Nurse Researcher at the Department of Psychiatry, UCH under the leadership of a renowned Psychiatrist, Prof O. Gureje where she developed an interest in the importance of mental health to all irrespective of our social status.
Adeola Folorunso, RN, Dr. Tomi Mitchell
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 00:07
Hello everyone, this is Dr. Mitchell from the Mental Health and Wellness Show. Today I have the pleasure of introducing Adeola Folorunso. She started her nursing career as a diploma nurse trained in 2009 and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, where she graduated with distinctions in 2015. She has since then worked as a registered nurse till date. She also obtained her Masters's in healthcare administration at the U bar in Canada in 2020, and 2020, she obtained the designation Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Healthcare leaders in Ottawa, Canada. As a healthcare leader, she is passionate about improving the Canadian and the global healthcare system through evidence-based practices. She is very experienced as she's worked in many domains of nursing, including clinical research, admin, and education both in Canada and Nigeria. Immediately after graduating from nursing school in Nigeria, she worked as a nurse researcher at the Department of Psychiatry, UCH under the leadership of Renowned psychiatrist and Prof. Oh Guruji, where she developed an interest in the importance of mental health to all irrespective of their social status. With no further ado, I'd like to introduce our guests. So do you mind introducing yourself a little to the audience? Listeners?
Adeola Folorunso, RN 01:37
Yeah, first of all, thank you, doctor, to me, Mitchell, for giving me this great opportunity. Again, my name is Adela Folorunso. I'm a registered nurse. And I love what I'm doing. I love to help people I love to contribute into the healthcare system. And I'll always do that. But again, thank you for this platform.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 01:54
Thank you. So you are well educated? Definitely. And a nurse who has been working for good five-plus years, at least here. Can you tell me a little bit about what made you passionate about nursing or ballistic healthcare in general.
Adeola Folorunso, RN 02:11
I think for me, it was a personal experience. It wasn't just because Oh, it's a profession that pays well, or something I had an experience and that experience actually made me to go into nursing. So back in Nigeria, before I even went to nursing school, I was down with malaria. And there was this particular nurse who show passionate about what she was doing. There were a lot of nurses there. But this one has to do and with everything she was doing, it was more of quality, passion and wanting to go extra mile. And I said this, this is the act of humanity, you know, what profession is this that will make you do this for your fellow human beings. And that's when I started developing the interest in nursing. And since then, I've been a nurse, actually.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 02:51
Nice. And then also you have special interest in psychiatric nursing or at least exposure. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Adeola Folorunso, RN 02:59
Yes. So this was my very first job when I graduated as a diplomat trained nurse back in University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Nigeria. So at some point, there is this renowned professor called Professor Guruji. So everybody knows this particular field of mental health or psychiatric. So it was actually it was into a research and the research was based on onset of schizophrenia among young adults. And he was the population was from I think, 20 to 45, there abouts. And they wanted to know what is causes schizophrenia, and so on the thing they needed a nurse, they needed nurses, actually, and some doctors as well, and other, other health care professionals. So I was, we were two nurses and I was into that I was a second nurse, and even the youngest on the team. And then he said, That was two weeks after I graduated from nursing school. And it was really nice, because he gave me a lot a lot of exposure, I was able to see why young girls also having schizophrenia or even been exposed to mental health in a developing country.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 04:02
What were your main takeaways for why young adults were more risk in the developing country?
Adeola Folorunso, RN 04:07
In a developing country, we have this mentality that I don't know how raw can I go when it comes to use of words. (inaudible) like nothing can get me like, yes, I have the, so in a developed word what we call it a tough skin, you know, and because of that would be like, no, he can't get into me because you think you can get it to you, then you don't even speak how you don't report about seeds. You don't even see that CDs exist, and then a stigma around it. So so a lot of people have had these mental health problems or challenges a long ago, even before it starts exhibiting itself as mental health issues. And just because we're in a society whereby you do not speak out of it because if you do your stigmatize.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 04:49
Yes, that is definitely a global problem. This whole stigma and I firsthand, I've witnessed it when you know something happens and sometimes leadership is like oh, they have Mental health problem. And it's like harsh silence like, Oh, I'm like a little everyone has a mental health challenge, you know, as long as you have a beating heart will have a challenge. The question is, will it adversely affect your life and function, your relationships. So, you know, you as a fellow health care provider, myself, I've practiced for over 10 years prior to that being in school. So it's actually more than that, the healthcare system to work in can be challenging at best. And some would arguably say the challenges have risen over the past few years, especially with the global pandemic, and the exposure of the vulnerabilities each country's healthcare system has, what is your personal opinions on the challenges and burnout with healthcare professionals? Like are you seeing a difference from pre COVID and now?
Adeola Folorunso, RN 05:56
I think to start with is I want people to understand what burnout service, I mean, that's the key word and what are we talking about. So what I mean, it so means to be overwhelmed, exhausted, and that exhaustion, overwhelm is triggered by something by a stressor, actually, so whether consciously or unconsciously, he will be there. So it's great for people who know that it's there, because it's a reality for them that they bring into their consciousness. But the unconscious one is where they're dealing with it. And they don't even know that it's there, right? So anything could trigger that. So I bought not just it's not something that just happened in one day, it is an accumulation of something sitting there. And if you don't recognize it, then we can't even do anything about it. So I see it's rising, honestly, it is, and even the pandemic itself, because nobody sees the pandemic coming. Okay, don't let me use the word nobody sees it, because some people might have seen it actually.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 06:48
Adeola Folorunso, RN 06:49
But I think the right word to use is that people are not fully prepared for the pandemic, because it wasn't something that analysis is solved that I am coming. And so where the analysis of them coming to them people are prepared for it came on announced, then we have to start figuring out how to do it about it that alone, they are not announcing it so that it's coming, it's a stressor on its tone, right? And that's good to trigger something. And when it triggers something even makes what is sitting in there, which is a stress that is sitting in there to be more pronounced. So, yes, I will say yes, that is pandemic itself has actually triggered and increased burnout among not just healthcare providers, and even everybody as a whole in the world.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 07:29
Yes, I would definitely say and you know, the term burnout, which was typically used more so in the health field, pre pandemic is now you hear pretty much on every industry, like people are writing about it, people are talking about it, which is great. But then the question is, what are we going to do about it? And as we'd like to be both appreciate a holistic approach, like what are the causes of burnout? So before we get into causes, maybe you can explain to our listeners, what are some of the early signs of burnout.
Adeola Folorunso, RN 08:02
Um, so the full field is doing really well, you mentioned the word on listing. So we're looking at the physical impact, the psychological impact of social and the mental impact of burnout. So as you might wish to know that we kind of operate within those four domains, right? And then if we're seeing any changes in those four domains, right, then that is an opportunity for us to start, you know, paying attention to those things, and start looking out for what we need to do. Right. So back to your question that what are those things that we like those signs that we'll see, I think to start with, there is a soft start, whereby it looks as if it's normal, you know, I feel stressed, headache, anxiety, like oh, yeah, okay, yeah, maybe because, you know, maybe it's something that is new to me or something, it's not very soft. And then when you don't pay attention to me, then it becomes more pronounced. And then you go into the danger zone, where even people go as far as committing suicide, it's their back. So I would say isolation, isolating yourself from what normally you would love to do, or where you'd normally want to be, you know, you don't like normally you love to go to their place of work, no matter you want to work on their units. But now you don't want to go there anymore. Those are warning signs that why, why is it something that I used to love is becoming something that is like, affecting my mental health or it's affecting my peace, right? And another thing is loss of motivation. You are not passionate about it, like what you normally love to do, you know, like, it's not something you love to do anymore. It's one of the signs that you see. And then another thing is when you begin to doubt yourself so much about something that you know, you're good at says but like, am I sure I have the capacity, you know, you begin to doubt your capacity. And it's not that you've been struggling with it before, right? But suddenly it's certainly the something is coming because it's not just happening in one day, but it's something that definitely we need and then you see for healthcare providers when people start to skip work. Well, we have a lot of colleagues sick you know, Like, you just don't want to be in that environment when the environment becomes so toxic to you. And then you feel it might be toxic to you, but it's not even talking to others. So that is your own personal experience of that environment could be those warning signs that you'd be seen, you know, actually, so like skipping walked, doubt of your decision, loss of motivation, and isolation could be those soft sign or those early signs. And when you're going to danger zone, you've been used to abuse food, abuse resources, abuse drugs, alcohol, you're going to that. And the truth is that Dr. Mitchell nobody's immune, how this pandemic started that you're finding vaccine to it. There is no vaccine for burnouts?
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 10:39
Adeola Folorunso, RN 10:39
I don't know maybe you've heard about it before, or maybe they are making research on it right now. But I am not aware that there is a vaccine for that. So it is a big deal. Actually.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 10:48
It definitely is. I personally feel that the fallout from burnout and mental health and all this stuff with potentially the even greater than the COVID pandemic. And that's a big statement to say in light of all the new variants that are coming out. And to talk that significantly, potentially more dangerous, more transmissible with our vaccines current that we have the affective, there's a lot and you mentioned stress going into environment that might look safe from the outside, but you don't know what illness what disease you might be in contact with. Right on it. So it's a heightened sense of that fear, that caution, which I believe also contributes to this burnout. And you know, like, yeah, it's so important for us to be aware and not get to those red zones, where one will make decisions that they may later on, forget them regret or their families regret or wish that never happened. So for somebody who is suffering from what seems like burnout, what strategies or support systems do you think are available? Or can they avail themselves to mitigate burnout?
Adeola Folorunso, RN 11:59
So I think to start with is we're in a society where whether developing or developed country when he says society where people don't want to talk about it, right? Like they believe if you talk about your weak, and to talk about it for me, it's a strength, because you recognize that it is there, right, and you want to help and to be able to talk about it and ask you for help shows that you still want to keep your sanity intact.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 12:23
Adeola Folorunso, RN 12:24
The impact of that is that it impacts your productivity at work impacts your creativity at work, and you become you which able to stop and to the people around you, right?
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 12:33
Adeola Folorunso, RN 12:33
And then even the quality of life is also affected, you lack sleep, you begin to abuse these, like eleison. And even the quality of care that you give to your patient will be affected as well, because something is not right somewhere. So I encourage people to talk about it to speak up. And then enjoying that. And for people to know that taking a break, that's one of the strategies, taking a break from that environment that might be a stressor to you is not a sign of weakness.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 13:00
Adeola Folorunso, RN 13:01
It is not, it is a sign of strength that you identify that there is a problem, and you want to provide a solution to it. So taking a break is great. A lot of people are saying that working hard is the goal, right? But taking a break from odd work does not mean you're a loser, right? It is an opportunity for you to come back or rejuvenates and gain your strength back again, and come back stronger. So my number one strategy is to take time to detach from that stressor and finding those resources out there that could be of help, talking to people, if it's on your unit for instance, or your department, finding that reliable colleague to speak with or to talk to, or even your leaders, your manager. And that's why I encourage a lot of managers or a lot of leaders to be emotionally intelligent.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 13:46
Adeola Folorunso, RN 13:46
About your stuff, it is very important because the success of your staff is not just about the skills that they have. It's about the quality of their mental wellness goes a long way because it directly have impact on their productivity at work. And even not on their engagement at work as well, you know, and their motivation. So taking that break and changing the location is very important. And taking out that feeling of guilt. Don't feel guilty about TDD happens. We are human accept it. It is something that at some point, everybody, you might not get to the danger zone but at some point, remember you don't even start on the danger zone is such so soft as if it's normal. And so, I tell