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Stress in Nursing Practice - Essay Example

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Stress in Nursing Practice Date Stress in Nursing Practice Introduction Stress is a major cause for concern in nursing practice. Most of the stress encountered by nurses is work or practice related including heavy workload, interpersonal conflict in the work environment, mandatory overtime and “floating” to other units, little work-related social support, and others (White, 2005, 230)…
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Stress in Nursing Practice Stress in Nursing Practice Introduction Stress is a major cause for concern in nursing practice. Most of the stress encountered by nurses is work or practice related including heavy workload, interpersonal conflict in the work environment, mandatory overtime and “floating” to other units, little work-related social support, and others (White, 2005, 230). A moderate amount of stress in nursing practice is healthy for the nurse and the organization but high stress levels may lead to physical and emotional exhaustion or burnout. Together with the organization, nurses need to design a plan of action in order to successfully cope and maintain wellness and healthy behaviors within the health care system and towards co-workers. Key Issue The key issue is occupational stress, particularlystress from working in increasingly long hours but for diminishing returns and from tension and conflict between colleagues. These two stressors were interrelated as the author experienced the stress from subsequent situations. The author is a novice nurse from a local hospital with a designated 8-hour shift every weekday. However, the duration of shift was often lengthened to 10- or 12-hour shift as the next nurse in-charge always came late. Because of working for very long hours, the author experienced severe burnout and felt that she cannot attend patients with complicated cases. The author tried to confront the nurse but they end up in conflict,mumbling her superiority towards the author. Whenever both of them are in subsequent shifts, patient care is affected as the author is always physically exhausted attending to patient’s needs while the nurse intentionally came late to avenge for the confrontation the author has made. Key Players and their Roles The key players in the issue are the author, the nurse of the next shift, the chief /charge nurse, and the employer or health care organization. Each key playerhas their roles in alleviating the problem or issue. The author has done her part in addressing the issue to her colleagues but also has responsibility to raise the matter to the chief nurse for disciplinary actions. The nurse of the other shift has the responsibility to do her job and admit mistakes even though she’s ahead of expertise to the author. The nurse must also compromise with the author to resolve conflict in order to deliver a collaborative and quality care. Meanwhile, the chief nurse has the responsibility to call the attention of the two involved parties and pave a way for conflict resolution because this might affect the whole setting. On the other hand, the employer or the organization itself plays a role in risk assessment of conflict and stress issues by identifying the factors that contribute to occupational stress such as workload, time, expectations, government policy, continuing education, and patient demands (Murray, 2005, 9). Internal/External Political and Legal Issues Political and legal issues emerge when action or methods to reduce stress were not successful. Often, internal/external political and legal issues pertain to claims in the compromised health and safety of employees, employment claims, and personal injury claims (Murray, 2005, 11). In this case, there might be internal/external political and legal issues as the burnout experienced by author may lead to negligence. The employer has the duty to ensure the psychological wellbeing of the employees and makes sure that loads or hours of shift may is in accordance with the law and compensation. Relationship to Workplace Violence Interpersonal conflict and burnout issues have relationship to workplace violence in clinical setting. Workplace violence today is more of verbal and psychological in nature, and the author experienced a form of verbal abuse from the nurse of the other shift whom humiliated her position as a novice nurse. In addition, it is also an act of abuse that the nurse intentionally and continuously comes to her shift late whenever the author is on duty. Continuous physical exhaustion has made the author to experience burnout and has contributed to the decline of psychological wellbeing and health of the author. This is a form of abuse from a colleague that should not be neglected as it may reduce the quality of care given. Plan of Action In line with the issue, the author has developed three points or intervention on how stress from interpersonal conflict and burnout will be managed: use an assertive communication style in claiming one’s right or putting forward one’s view that as an employee, the author deserved to have additional compensation for the additional hours; being aware of physical limitation and energy and communicating the matter to the management to take necessary actions and to prevent stress from burnout; and being optimistic and positive about the situation by taking the issue as a challenge to a novice nurse, a situation for improvement and additional compensation due to the extended hours of shift, and an opportunity for developing skills in stress resiliency (Barker, 2009, 63-64). Conclusion As health care professionals, nurses cannot avoid the experience of stress; thus, nurses must be equipped with the knowledge of the physiology of stress and certain coping mechanisms and stress management techniques. Stress in nursing practice not only affects the nurse but the quality of care being rendered to the patients and the organization as well. Therefore, nurses must deal stress in the workplace settings with the assistance from the superiors and organization in the form of relaxation and coping strategies seminars and through legal assistance. References Bark, A.M. (2009). Managing Personal Resources: Time and Stress Management. Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession (p. 53-64). Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers LLC. Murray, R. (2005). Managing Your Stress: A Guide for Nurses(p. 1-15).London: Royal College of Nursing. Retrieved on February 26, 2012 from http://www.nurse.tv/Managing_Your_Stress_guide.pdf White, L. (2005). Stress, Adaptation, and Anxiety. Foundations of Nursing (2nd ed.) (p. 220-233). New York: Thomson Delmar Learning. Read More
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