Occupational Stress and Burnout Syndrome Among Nursing Professionals : a Proposed Study Addressing Compromised States of Mental Health and Improving Patient Outcomes
Sulich, Carolina Elena
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The following proposed study will examine the effects of therapeutic intervention on mental and physical health states of practicing nurses. Nurses are particularly susceptible to increased occupational stress as they work for prolonged periods of time, maintain frequent patient contact, often deliver unpleasant stimulation, possess relatively low levels of decision authority, and frequently operate under extreme amounts of pressure. These factors and their accompanying stresses can lead to harmful conditions such as depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and burnout syndrome, which affect not only nurses, but the patients under their care. Nurses have previously expressed dissatisfaction with a lack of formally provided training in stress and grief coping mechanisms. Additionally, previously implemented group therapy sessions have been unsuccessful in helping nurses cope with anxiety, depression, and grief due to nurse sentiments of a lack of privacy and diminished individual care. Thus, a longitudinal study is proposed in which nurses will be given the opportunity to attend a monthly therapy session at no cost over the course of a one-year period, with the intention of lowering scores on the 28-item General Health Questionnaire, indicating improved mental and physical health within this high-risk population.