Nurse burnout and the working environment
Nuria O’Mahony Clinical nurse manager in the emergency department, Cork University Hospital, Ireland
Nuria O’Mahony asks whether greater teamwork and the introduction of Magnet hospitals can reduce stress and exhaustion among emergency nurses
Aim This article examines levels of burnout experienced by emergency nurses and the characteristics of their work environment to determine if there is a relationship between the two.
Method A literature review of recent articles on emergency nurses’ burnout and contributing factors was undertaken. A quantitative study, in which nurses were asked to indicate the extent of their agreement with a series of statements on burnout and the working environment, was then undertaken, and the results were analysed to ascertain the extent to which the two topic are related.
Finding The results indicate that 52 per cent of nurses in an emergency department in Ireland experience high levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation, which are significantly related to the nature of their work environment.
Conclusion Improvements to the environment and to education are required to reduce the risk of nurses developing burnout in the future.
19, 5, 30-37.
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