Occupational stress in the ED: what matters to nurses?
ROSS-ADJIE, Gail M.; LESLIE, Gavin; GILMAN, Lucia . Occupational stress in the ED: what matters to nurses?. AUSTRALIAN EMERGENCY NURSING HOSPITAL. , v. 10, p.117-123, 2007.
[Background] Nurses working in emergency departments are frequently confronted by stress-evoking incidents that can potentially lead to both short and longer term psychosocial and physical effects. The aim of this study was to determine which stress-evoking incidents Western Australian emergency department nurses perceive as most signifcant, wheter demographic characteristics affect these perceptions, and to discuss current debrieing practices in emergency departments afeter stress-evoking incidents. [Methods] A cross-sectional descriptive study was undertaken using non-parametric testing to identify and rank workplace stressors and determine whter demographic sub-groups ranked the identified stressor differently. Three hundred Western Australian emergency nurses from metropolitan, regional and rural emergency departments were invited to complete a three-part questionnaire with a response rate of 52%. Nurses were asked to rank groups of stressor wich had been identified from the literature and briefyl discuss their experiences of debriefing related to stress-evoking issues in the workplace. [Results] Violence against staff was the top ranked stressor, with workload and skill-mix ranked second. Dealing with a massa casualty incident, the death/sexual abuse of a child, and dealing with high acuit patients wre all closely ranked at third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. A statisticaly significant difference was found in the paediatric death/sexual assault stressor and number of years emergency department experience, as well as the acuity stressor and number of years emergency department experience. Two out of every five respondents reported having personally sought debriefing while almost 60% reported that workplace debriefing is not routinely offered after a stress-evoking incident in their workplace. [Conclusion] Western Australian emergency department nurses ranked violence, excessive workload and poor skill-mix as their most significant workplace stressor. Nurses stated that debriefing after stress-evoking incidents in the workplace should be mandatory not optional, and should be conducted by professionals with specific debriefing and counselling skills.