Burnout in critical care nurses: a literature review

Grey Nuns Community Hopsital, Edmonton, AB.
Dynamics (Pembroke, Ont.) 12/2012; 23(4):25-31.
Source: PubMed


Burnout and its development in critical care nurses is a concept that has received extensive study, yet remains a problem in Canada and around the world. Critical care nurses are particularly vulnerable to developing burnout due to the chronic occupational stressors they are exposed to, including high patient acuity, high levels of responsibility, working with advanced technology, caring for families in crisis, and involved in morally distressing situations, particularly prolonging life unnecessarily. The purpose of this article is to explore how the chronic stressors that critical care nurses are exposed to contribute to the development of burnout, and strategies for burnout prevention. A review of the literature between the years 2007 and 2012 was conducted and included the search terms burnout, moral distress, compassion fatigue, intensive care, critical care, and nursing. The search was limited to the adult population, English language, and Western cultures. The results revealed that nurse managers play a crucial role in preventing burnout by creating a supportive work environment for critical care nurses. Strategies for nurse managers to accomplish this include being accessible to critical care nurses, fostering collegial relationships among the different disciplines, and making a counsellor or grief team available to facilitate debriefing after stressful situations, such as a death. In addition, critical care nurses can help prevent burnout by being a support system for each other and implementing self-care strategies.

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    • "Finally low Personal Accomplishment refers to the tendency of workers to negatively evaluate themselves in relation to their work capacity. Although the importance of the work carried out by healthcare professionals, particularly nurses, is beyond dispute, this occupation is extremely prone to the development of burnout syndrome (Epp, 2012; Kheiraoui, Gualano, Mannocci, Boccia, & La Torre, 2012; Lin, Liao, Chen, & Fan, 2014). Nurses care for patients, sometimes in contexts in which they are at risk of suffer physical and verbal aggressions (Gascon et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Nurses are an occupational group with extremely high levels of burnout. The most accepted definition of the burnout syndrome was proposed by Maslach and Jackson, who characterized it in terms of three dimensions: (i) Emotional Exhaustion; (ii) Depersonalization; (iii) Personal Accomplishment. This definition was the basis for the Granada Burnout Questionnaire (GBQ). The objective of this research was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the GBQ and to elaborate an evaluation scale to measure burnout in nursing professionals in Spain. A total of 1,177 nurses participated in this study and successfully completed the GBQ. Evidence of construct validity was verified by cross-validation and convergent validity, and evidence of criteria validity was checked by concurrent validity. Cronbach's alpha was used to measure internal consistency. The results obtained in our study show satisfactory fit values in the confirmatory factor analysis and in the evidence of convergent and concurrent validity. All of the Cronbach alpha values were greater than .83. This signifies that the GBQ has good psychometric properties that are applicable to nurses. For this purpose a scale of T-scores and centiles was created that permitted the evaluation of burnout in Spanish nursing professionals.
    International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology 03/2015; 11(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ijchp.2015.01.001 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    • "In this study, a lack of sufficient working space was one of the major challenges nurses had to deal with in their daily work, generating a great deal of dissatisfaction and hopelessness. These feelings are elements increasing the risk of burnout among nurses (Epp, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The environment of an intensive care unit (ICU) is, in general, stressful and has an impact on quality of care in terms of patient outcomes and safety. Little is known about nurses' experiences, however, from a phenomenological perspective with regard to the critical care settings as a place for the provision of care for the most critically ill patients and their families.AimThe aim of this study was to explore nurses' lived experiences of ICU bed spaces as a place of care for the critically ill.Design and methodsA combination of qualitative lifeworld interviews and photos – photovoice methodology – was used when collecting data. Fourteen nurses from three different ICUs participated. Data were analysed using a phenomenological reflective lifeworld approach.FindingsAn outer spatial dimension and an inner existential dimension constitute ICU bed spaces. Caring here means being uncompromisingly on call and a commitment to promoting recovery and well-being. The meanings of ICU bed spaces as a place of care comprise observing and being observed, a broken promise, cherishing life, ethical predicament and creating a caring atmosphere.Conclusions and relevance to clinical practiceThe architectural design of the ICU has a great impact on nurses' well-being, work satisfaction and the provision of humanistic care. Nurses need to be involved in the process of planning and building new ICU settings. There is a need for further research to highlight the quality of physical environment and its impact on caring practice.
    Nursing in Critical Care 03/2014; 19(3). DOI:10.1111/nicc.12082 · 0.65 Impact Factor
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    • "This could be due to the fact that nurses in surgical wards are generally in closer contact with patients. They are thus subject to more complex demands and can even find themselves involved in morally conflictive situations (Epp, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Numerosos estudios sugieren la relación entre el síndrome de burnout y algunas variables ocupacionales e informan de diversos tamaños del efecto en sus asociaciones, en profesionales de Enfermería. El objetivo de este trabajo es estudiar la influencia de cinco variables ocupacionales (antigüedad en el puesto, antigüedad en la profesión, satisfacción laboral, especialización y turno laboral) y las tres dimensiones del síndrome (cansancio emocional, despersonalización y realización personal) en enfermeros. En este trabajo se realizó un meta-análisis de 81 estudios que cumplían los criterios de inclusión establecidos: 31 sobre antigüedad en el puesto, 29 en experiencia profesional, 37 relacionados con satisfacción laboral, 4 con especialización y 6 con turno laboral. Los tamaños del efecto medio indican que la satisfacción laboral y, en menor medida, la especialización eran factores importantes que influye en el burnout. La heterogeneidad encontrada en las estimaciones de los tamaños del efecto hace necesario realizar el análisis de variables moderadoras, obteniéndose que algunos moderadores son de gran interés en la explicación de las asociaciones. En conclusión, sería importante prevenir las variables moderadoras sustantivas que median estas asociaciones. Los aspectos metodológicos deberían ser mejorados pues parecen explicar algunos de los resultados contradictorios que se encuentran en las investigaciones en este ámbito.
    International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology 01/2014; 14(1):28–38. DOI:10.1016/S1697-2600(14)70034-1 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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