Management in Health, Vol 17, No 4 (2013)

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Occupational Stress in Romanian Intensive Care Nurses. A Multicentric Study



AIMS AND OBJECTIVE.To investigate the occupational stress level in 4 academic ICUs in Romania and to identify the main stress generating factors. Stress level within institution and with work experience were also analysed.

BACKGROUND. It is well known that nursing profession is associated with an increased level of stress. Nurses working in intensive care units (ICU) have an even more increased level of stress due specific factors associated with nursing in critical care. Stress level in Romanian ICU nurses have not investigated before. The purpose of our study was to evaluate job stress in ICU nurses and to identify the main stress generating factors.

METHODS. This prospective multicentre study involved 143 nurses working in 4 teaching ICUs. Occupational stress was evaluated by using JSS anonymus questionnaire. JS-X, JP-X, LS-X were also calculated and compared. Main stress generating factors were evaluated, ranked and compared with the literature.

RESULTS. From 143 nurses, 100 agreed to participate; the response rate was 69.9%. 51% of the nurses had a T score above 60 while the mean score was 31.34 ± 15.68. Mean JP-X was 38.07±20.11, while mean JS-X was of 31.34±15.6 in study group. Main generating factors were making critical on-the-spot decisions, having to fulfill disagreeable duties and assuming tasks of an increased responsibility.

CONCLUSIONS. Our study identified an increased level of stress in 51 % of ICU nurses in Romania. Stress scores were similar to nurses from other countries but higher than for other professions like managers in our country.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE. Identification of the main stress factors may lead to finding solutions to diminish this high level of professional stress and to guide strategies for diminishing the importance of these stress factors. This is particularly important in our country where institutional and organizational context with budget constrains and infrastructure problems cannot be addresed.


Key-words: intensive care nurses, JSS, stress level

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Journal published by SNSPMS