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Curationis. 1994 Dec;17(4):35-43.

Occupational stress and coping in a sample of student nurses.


The study investigated the extent and nature of work stress and burnout in a sample of 81 student nurses in a training hospital in the Natal Midlands. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Sources of Stress Questionnaire (SSQ), Student Life Events Checklist (SLEC), and two coping scales, the Ways of Coping Checklist (WCC) and the Billings and Moos Coping Scale (BMCS) were used to measure the variable of burnout, stress, life events and ways of coping. Findings point to the fact that there were significantly higher levels of burnout as measured on the MBI sub-scales of Emotional Exhaustion and Depersonalisation in the sample, in comparison to other helping professionals in South Africa and the USA. These results are discussed in relation to the influence of gender, race and age of the sample. A small sub-sample of high burnout nurses was identified that differed from the rest of the sample in respect to coping styles. Sources of stress in the sample indicated issues relevant to the developmental stage of the sample that have implications for training and intervention. Style of coping and source of stress relating to home-work interface were found to be related to the experience of burnout. Implications of the findings are discussed in relation to training, intervention and further research.

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