BURNOUT SYNDROME IN INTENSIVE CARE UNIT NURSES IN ZIMBABWE

Diana Chitura, Miriam Chitura

Abstract


Introduction Professional burnout is a unique type of stress syndrome that is characterized by emotional exhaustion. It leads to loss of energy and interest in one’s job. According to literature review the hardest hit by burnout are the service providers like nurses, counselors and police officers. When a professional is affected by burnout they feel drained and used up and have little desire to return to work the next day. This problem is specific to the work context. It is generally perceived that Intensive Care Nurses are particularly exposed to burnout since they literally deal with life and death situations most of the time. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to investigate burnout and its associated factors on nurses working in Intensive Care Units in some major hospitals in Zimbabwe. Methodology A descriptive study was conducted. The researchers gathered data directly from participants for the purposes of studying attitudes, characteristics,interactions of individuals in their natural setting. Descriptive research gives detail of a situation or phenomenon. In this study information was obtained from nurses working in intensive care units at selected three major hospitals in Zimbabwe. Results Of the 23 participants, three were male and twenty were female. Eighty percent of the participants had less than five years working experience in ICU as more experienced personnel had migrated to the Diaspora in search of greener pastures. Only five nurses out of twenty three were ICU trained. Emotional attachment was found to be a contributory factor to burnout. 78% of the Intensive Care Nurses were caring for the dying while 43 % were involved in the end-of-life decisions. 13 % had not gone for vocational leave for the past six months. Spending prolonged periods in the ICU contributed to burnout. Emotional exhaustion with intensity of 39 to 40 % also contributed to burnout. Recommendations Offer professional counseling services to the ICU nurses on a regular basis. Identify any issues that might be affecting ICU nurses early enough and recommendappropriate remedial action before a fully blown “burnout” feeling develops. Have rest rooms that are away from the working area to give the nurses a feeling of rest during breaks. Grant compassionate leave on reasonable grounds when the nurse feels he/she cannot cope due to depleted emotional resources. Offer refresher courses and conduct campaigns by highlighting the role of the ICU nurse to the administrators and also the challenges they face. Offer adequate remuneration to try and reduce stress levels.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19044/esj.2014.v10n10p%25p


European Scientific Journal (ESJ)

 

ISSN: 1857 - 7881 (Print)
ISSN: 1857 - 7431 (Online)

 

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