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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology
    • "Stress is well documented in the nursing literature (Lambert & Lambert 2001, McGrath et al. 2003, McVicar 2003, Chang et al. 2005, Zeng 2009, Lim et al. 2010a,b) as are numerous consequences of high levels of stress, such as burnout, sick-leave and a high nurse turnover (Garrosa et al. 2008, Sveinsd ottir & Gunnarsd ottir 2008, Duvall & Andrews 2010, Epp 2012, Lu et al. 2012, Toh et al. 2012). Both the quality and safety of care are jeopardised by extreme stress. "
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    ABSTRACT: AimThe aim was to investigate occupational stress among newly graduated nurses in relation to the workplace and clinical group supervision.Background Being a newly graduated nurse is particularly stressful. What remains unclear is whether the workplace and clinical group supervision affect the stress.MethodA cross-sectional comparative study was performed in 2012. Data were collected by means of a numerical scale measuring occupational stress, questions about workplace and clinical group supervision. One hundred and thirteen nurses who had recently graduated from three Swedish universities were included in the study.ResultsThe stress was high among the newly graduated nurses but it differed significantly between workplaces, surgical departments generating the most stress. Nurses who had received clinical group supervision reported significantly less stress. The stress between workplaces remained significant also when participation in clinical group supervision was taken into account.Conclusions Newly graduated nurses experience great stress and need support, especially those in surgical departments. Nurses participating in clinical group supervision reported significantly less stress.Implications for nursing managementIt is important to develop strategies that help to adapt the work situation so as to give nurses the necessary support. Clinical group supervision should be considered as an option for reducing stress.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Nursing Management
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Nursing in Critical Care
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