Burnout, engagement and stress of medical practitioners
The environment in which medical practitioners in South Africa and elsewhere in the world currently function demands more of them than did any previous period. Medical practitioners have to cope with the demands that arise from fulfilling various roles - often with limited resources. Tracking and addressing their effectiveness in coping with new demands and stimulating their growth in areas that could possibly impact on individual well-being and organisational efficiency and effectiveness are therefore crucial. Burnout and engagement of medical practitioners are specific focus areas for research and intervention in this regard. The objectives of this study were to conceptualise burnout and engagement from the literature and to determine the association between job stress, burnout and engagement. A survey design was used to reach the research objectives. The specific design is the cross-sectional design, whereby a sample of medical practitioners was drawn from a population at one time. An accidental sample (n = 68) was taken from medical practitioners in South Africa. Three questionnaires were used in this study, namely the Maslach Burnout Inventory - Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS), the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) and the Job Stress Indicator (JSS). Descriptive and multivariate statistics were used to analyse the data. Effect sizes were used to determine the significance of findings. The results showed that there is a correlation between vigour and personal accomplishment. The medical practitioners tested proved to be absorbed in their work and have high levels of vigour. It shows that stress because of a lack of resources and high job demands leads to emotional exhaustion. Medical practitioners who do not have relevant resources seem to become negative, callous and cynical. It also concluded that if medical practitioners do not have relevant resources and high job demands, the results can be lower energy levels and a lack of enthusiasm, inspiration and pride in their work. There was a practically significant relationship between burnout and engagement. Recommendations for future research are made.