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J Transcult Nurs. 2005 Jan;16(1):71-6.

Applying a cultural lens to the concept of burnout.

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  • 1Lambton College, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.


Burnout is a unique type of stress syndrome that is pervasively affecting the nursing profession. The literature on burnout is reviewed, and a conceptual framework using Maslach's Burnout Inventory is provided. The culture of organizations is examined with regard to its contribution to the antecedents and consequences of burnout. Leininger's cultural care theory and its relevance to the concept of burnout and culture is discussed. Implications for the amelioration of burnout from the perspective of culture are discussed to stimulate future changes in nursing administration, practice, and education. A culture of trust, support, open communication, and respect can foster healthy work environments and protect against burnout.

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