Assessment and Management of Job Stress in Emergency Nurses: a Preliminary StudyGabriele d’Ettorre1*, Chiara Maselli1, Mariarita Greco2, Vincenza Pellicani2
- *Corresponding Author:
- Gabriele d’Ettorre
Local Health Authority
Brindisi, Health Unit of Occupational Prevention and Protection
Piazza Di Summa, Postal Code 72100, Brindisi, Italy
E-mail: [email protected]
Background: The continuously technological and organizational changes actually involving the healthcare sector is resulting in increased workload for nurses employed in Emergency Department (ED). In fact the nurses of ED appear particularly vulnerable to be exposed to work related stress (WRS) and to experiment its effects. A special effort is required to moderate the impact of WRS on ED nurses. Methods: the authors ruled 75 (24 M; 51 F) nurses working in a public Hospital Emergency Department of National Health Service (NHS), in Salento, Italy, and 72 (23 M; 49 F) administrative workers of the same NHS. The study included two phases: the first phase was focused on the evaluation of psychological stress through the administration of subjective questionnaire, the Rapid Stress Assessment scale of Tarsitani and Biondi to both the ED nurses and administrative workers. The second phase of the study was focused on the evaluation of objective stress and was conducted according to the multidimensional validated tool developed by the Italian Network for the Prevention of Work-related Psychosocial Disorders. Results: In this study ED nurses showed a greater risk of WRS and evidenced higher scores of felt stress measured by RSA scale, specifically in the clusters of anxiety and depression, than administrative workers. Among ED nurses, the main issues related to objective WRS were found in the work context and content areas and required organizational interventions aimed to minimize the impact of WRS on the nurses. Conclusion: the study showed the need of organizational interventions targeted to improve the team development, decision making policies and processes, jointly to safety training programs aimed to assist ED nurses to adopt constructive stress coping strategies. By the preliminary results of this study, is evidenced the effectiveness of these interventions in order to minimize the impact of objective WRS on ED nurses.