at last, someone studying emotional cost of nursing

  1. uk: the emotional cost of nursing
    university of leicester study investigates welfare of nurses
    issued on 22 june 2009

    what are the costs of caring? a new project in the school of psychology explores nurses' experience of distress and aims to determine if empathy with patients is associated with traumatic experience in nurses.

    researcher jenny watts said nurses can develop symptoms such as flashbacks, sleeping difficulty and emotional detachment which can have serious consequences for both their personal and professional lives.

    she will be presenting her research at the festival of postgraduate research which is taking place on thursday 25th june in the belvoir suite, charles wilson building at the university of leicester between 11.30am and 1pm.

    miss watts said: "what is apparent is that nurses who identify with the patient and experience empathy appear to be most vulnerable to distress.

    "nursing is a diverse specialty and patient condition and contact will vary greatly between different wards. currently the research focuses upon surgery, accident and emergency and children's wards

    . "nurses caring for patients with dementia and other age related illnesses have shown anxiety and depression following patient deterioration and death.

    "further knowledge about nurse distress is required to shape interventions, reduce staff turnover, improve morale and maintain a high quality of care.

    "this knowledge will be applied to shape suitable prevention and intervention strategies."
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jul 6, '09
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    About oramar

    Joined: Nov '98; Posts: 7,097; Likes: 5,244
    returned nurse


  3. by   FireStarterRN
    Interesting. According to the study, the most vulnerable are those with the most empathy.

    It just points to the fact that a certain level of detachment is vital in nursing. I think a detached empathy is the healthiest approach.
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    Agreed..........but it is also the most difficult to achieve.
  5. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    Agreed..........but it is also the most difficult to achieve.
    Maybe nursing programs should start incorporating self-care into their curriculum? It's a vital part of holistic nursing for the nurse to remain emotionally and physically fit.
  6. by   apocatastasis
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    Maybe nursing programs should start incorporating self-care into their curriculum? It's a vital part of holistic nursing for the nurse to remain emotionally and physically fit.
    That'd be interesting, but how would schools go about doing that?

    Nursing is definitely a profession with a high personal cost. As a student starting year 2 of an alternate entry psych NP program... I can say that this past year has burnt my class and me out... we feel like we know nothing but are about to take NCLEX and get thrown into the mix. Most of my classmates are now on SSRIs and/or benzos. :deadhorse

    I always found it helpful when we'd have an instructor say, y'all are super stressed out today and need to chill out, let's do a relaxation exercise. Maybe schools could dedicate 20-30 minutes in a theory course to yoga or something.
  7. by   VORB

    So those of us who forget our patients at the time clock aren't so crazy after all.
  8. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from VORB

    So those of us who forget our patients at the time clock aren't so crazy after all.
    Nor should we "get out of nursing"
  9. by   cgalio01
    After 38 years of nursing, on all levels, acute care, geriatrics, school, I am finally "burnt out". I do not understand the young nurses who have "burn out" before they start. Maybe it is not the profession for you. It takes a certain personality to be able to put anothers needs before your own. I love nursing, and always will. I love the feeling of satification, the learning, the rewards of knowing I have done all I can to help a fellow human being. The problem, as I see it, is that we have gotten away from bedside care. We leave that to the aides. We are so involved in the paper compliance, budgets, ordering supplies, couseling staff etc, that we have left the patient behind. I have been able to keep going all these years because I put the patient first, then after they are cared for I do the paperwork. Sure, there is not enough time, there is too much work to do in a short 8 hours. But I do not take breaks or lunch and I work overtime without being paid. The nurses today need a union more than ever to make sure that the Administration, Dept of Health and all those governing bodies understand that we are not secretaries, purchasing agents, billers,etc, but that we are NURSES who deserve to be able to do what we were trained to do. Whatever happened to "non-nursing functions" I don't hear that term anymore. I am sure more people would feel better about being a nurse if they allow us to be nurses.
  10. by   Cookielea RN
    Wow,I have been in nursing 28 years. You summed it up very well. I have been saying for a long time that Nurses are the only profession that has allowed itself to be denied any of the benefits enjoyed by many other service professions. Nurses should be able to retire after a set number of years, have a quality pension, as well as access to quality health care. I count myself among the many in Nursing who am proud to call myself an RN, and have given my all as a compassionate and dedicated care-giver. I am also among the many "older" Nurses who now have major back and knee issues, as well as NIDDM, HTN etc. In my years I have seen the evolution of increasing stress because we all work in a system that is not only broken, but is still being carried on the backs of the nursing profession!! Sadly I would not recommend Nursing at this point, until the profession gets off its collective tushy, and focuses more on the nuts and bolts of Nursing, and less on the number of alphabet soup letters it can bestow and collect. I will now leave my soap box for the evening!!
  11. by   marylewis73
    We are planning a Nursing Tune-up conference this fall for those who wish to learn about all the current and best self care practices for nurses: Reiki, Polarity, meditation, gentle exercise, peer consultation,support groups and lots more. We will have a play back theater group mirroring critical scenarios, which aides in catharsis and moving on, and inspirational speakers. Let's remember: relationships build hope.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Jun 25, '09 : Reason: Removed contact info.
  12. by   blue'smom
    As someone with 17 years in nursing, I am glad that for the most part I can leave my job once I clock out. Unless something really good or bad happens, I don't think about work much once I'm away. I think nurses should take their breaks and get paid for the work they do, including paperwork. I find that without a few minutes away I become edgy, so I need the break, although there are times I am just unable to take it. I give my all while at work but recognize that I take care of my patients better when I am taking care of myself as well.
  13. by   marylewis73
    good for you. We need rest.
  14. by   cgalio01
    Thank you Cookielea RN for your positive feedback. Now if we can get the rest of the RN's to understand what the problem is we would have a dialogue and maybe, just maybe, we can get a "real profession" going like the TEACHERS !!!!:bowingpur