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Prevention of Burnout by Use of Balint Method of Group Therapy

Abstract Background: The prevention of burnout and intention to leave the profession in newly graduated nurse practitioners and physician assistants is necessary to keep this highly trained segment of the workforce engaged in providing healthcare. Intention to leave the profession is a concerning trait and is often due to burnout. Purpose: The tool used in this project was the Balint method of group therapy, which is a British -psychoanalytical approach to making a better clinician. The purpose of these therapy sessions was to support and mentor the growth and development of newly graduated nurse practitioners and physician assistants in their first year transitioning from a student role to professional. Methods: Burnout prevention through group therapy and mentorship was offered at a large medical center in the Northeast in order to increase job satisfaction and cause these important clinicians not to leave the profession. Thirteen Balint sessions were held over several weeks with eight participants. Results: Although the new graduates who attended reported no objective signs of burnout according to the Copenhagen tool used, they did report subjectively situations of concern including how they were treated by physicians and office staff. I think you need to add the results of your burnout prevention session using the Balint method. Conclusions: The sessions were not mandatory and not everyone who was eligible attended, however the sessions were well received and participants found them helpful. Recommendations are that this project be incorporated at the site’s residency program and become a sustainable part of the orientation of new clinicians with more experienced providers incorporated in the future. Keywords: Balint method, burnout, novice nurse practitioner, physician assistant