The clinical problem that will be examined in this paper is nurses’ burnout at work and the efficiency of stress strategies that nurses use to reduce the impact of burnout on their practice. Although a wide range of literature covers burnout in nurses and its consequences, it rarely discusses if stress strategies are capable of reducing stress and burnout in nurses compared to them leaving the profession. If this clinical problem is well-researched and understood, it will provide medical staff with information about coping strategies and their efficiency for burnout nurses.
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The article that was chosen for this research critique is Occupational stress and job satisfaction among nurses by Apeksha Gulavani and Mahadeo Shinde, written in 2014.
Nurses have to work for extended work shifts (twelve hours instead of eight); although approximately 80% of nurses are satisfied with their working schedule, studies have shown that a 13-hour shift can hurt patient care (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014). Moreover, burnout is directly linked to patients’ dissatisfaction and nurses’ intent to leave (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014). Thus, stress and burnout in nurses can lead to both increased healthcare costs and workforce shortage.
The purpose of the study is to understand whether stress strategies, compared with leaving the profession, reduce the level of stress and give the burnout nurses a balance in their work and how occupational stress correlates with job satisfaction. The research question is the following: does job satisfaction have a positive influence on treatment outcomes and how does it correlate with the economic loss of medical facilities?
The purpose and the question of the study are related to the problem, as it is crucial to understand how job dissatisfaction, stress, and burnout influence nurses and their work.
Method of Study
Qualitative methods were appropriate to answer the research questions. According to the authors, the descriptive study design was used (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014). The study was developed from a specific perspective: the authors used an explorative research approach and a convenient sample technique to select the study sample (100 nurses) (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014).
Both quantitative and qualitative studies were cited by the authors to support the statements, findings, and suggestions in the study. The authors cited different studies that focused on job dissatisfaction, burnout, job pressure of nurses from various countries (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014). Other types of scientific literature that the authors used include books on nursing, articles in online magazines, unpublished dissertations, an unpublished thesis, and surveys.
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Most of the references used in the qualitative study are current; they were mostly published in 2012 or later. Only several articles used by the authors were published in 2007-2010 – most of those articles were written by one of the authors; therefore, the authors could assume the information in the articles from the years 2007 to 2010 was relevant and reliable.
The authors did not explicitly state if the available studies had contained any weaknesses; however, during the literature review, the authors state that some of the findings in the available studies contradict with other relevant studies (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014). Nevertheless, it would not be correct to assume that some of these studies were conducted improperly.
The literature review of the study examines several studies that address the problem of occupational stress, its causes, and its consequences. To build a logical argument, the authors discuss what domains nurses regarded as unsatisfactory and what domains were labeled as highly satisfactory. Reviewing the results of the previous studies, Gulavani and Shinde (2014) thoroughly examine the causes of occupational stress and the “negative relationship between job-related stress and job satisfaction” (p. 736).
The authors did not mention any framework that was specifically developed for this study. However, according to the authors, the exploratory approach was used to assess job-related stress and satisfaction among the study sample (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014).
Results of the Study
There were several findings that the study presented, including those related to the demographic variable, occupational stress, job satisfaction, correlation between occupational stress and job satisfaction, and the association between occupational stresses (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014). 88% of participants were working as staff nurses, 49% reported that they often experienced stress; 50% reported “extreme occurrence of stress due to death and dying as the cause of stress” (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014, p. 737). 83% of nurses were satisfied with their job. 54% of nurses reported they were moderately satisfied with the subscale of independence (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014). 89% reported they were highly satisfied with social service and social status (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014).
The study findings implicate that nurses experience occupational stress when they face job pressure, death, and dying, have to resolve conflicts with patients and families, and workload (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014). To ensure that burnout and stress can be reduced, nurses’ work needs to be appreciated, and they need to be promoted. Stress strategies such as the promotion of leadership qualities and team spirit, recognition of the work done, and involvement of nurses in the decision-making can reduce burnout and job dissatisfaction among nurses (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014). Assurance of job security is also essential for restoring balance. To avoid or reduce stress, the improvement of interpersonal relationships between supervisors and nurses is necessary (Gulavani & Shinde, 2014).
If nurses are educated on how to manage stress and resolve conflicts, it will have a positive impact on their work. Teamwork and a balanced schedule, based on the findings, can reduce workload in nursing practice.
It is not mentioned whether the study was approved by an Institutional Review Board. Nurses’ privacy was protected, as the questionnaires were self-answered and anonymous. As there was no treatment, there were also no ethical considerations regarding it.
Stress strategies and stress management among nurses can be efficient if conducted properly. Burnout and job dissatisfaction are often linked to job pressure, death, and conflicts in the working environment. Moreover, nurses also feel stressed if they are limited in their independence by supervisors and administration. The findings of the study are supported by other studies that were cited. Although additional research is needed to understand whether the findings can apply to nurses in other countries and medical facilities as well, it still provides a detailed overview of occupational stress and its causes.
If the results of the study are taken into consideration, nurses will have the opportunity to be educated about job-related stress and coping techniques, as well as given recognition for the work they do. The promotion of leadership qualities is necessary because it allows nurses to become equal with other medical professionals; moreover, nursing leadership can strengthen teamwork and ensure that there is an understanding among medical staff and administration.
Gulavani, A., & Shinde, M. (2014). Occupational stress and job satisfaction among nurses. International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), 3(4), 733-740.