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Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2016 Apr;20(2):158-64. doi: 10.1188/16.CJON.158-164.

Stress Levels of Nurses in Oncology Outpatient Units.

Author information

1
North Dakota State University.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Oncology nursing is often a source of substantial stress for nurses. Many nurses, particularly novice nurses, have inadequate preparation to care for patients at the end of life and their families. Unless nurses prevent or manage work-related stress by using effective coping strategies, oncology nursing staff will continue to suffer from burnout and compassion fatigue.

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this article is to identify stress levels and stressful factors of nurses working in oncology outpatient units and to explore coping behaviors for work-related stress of oncology staff nurses in outpatient units.

METHODS:

A descriptive, cross-sectional design was used to identify stress levels and stressful factors for outpatient oncology nurses, investigate differences in stress levels among nurses' demographic characteristics, and explore coping behaviors of the nurses. Study participants (N = 40) included RNs and licensed practical nurses who completed the Nursing Stress Scale, three open-ended questions, and a demographic questionnaire.

FINDINGS:

The highest sources of stress were workload and patient death and dying. Demographic variables of age and work experience in nursing showed a significant positive relationship to work-related stress scores. The three most frequently used coping behaviors were verbalizing, exercising or relaxing, and taking time for self. Continuing education programs on stress management are highly recommended. Outpatient oncology nurses should be nurtured and supported through tailored interventions at multiple levels to help them find effective coping strategies and develop self-care competencies. Although younger and less experienced nurses had lower mean stress scores than older and more experienced nurses, the continuing education programs and tailored interventions would be helpful for all oncology nursing staff.

KEYWORDS:

coping behaviors; oncology nurse; stress level; stressful factor

PMID:
26991708
DOI:
10.1188/16.CJON.158-164
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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