Factors Associated with Stress and Stressors among Nurses working in Critical Care Units at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dares Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJNR.2015.02.01.Art021

Authors : Sithembile Majuta


Background: Stress is increasingly recognized as one of the most serious occupational health hazard for critical care nurses. Failure of proper stress management among nurses has a huge impact to health care delivery and quality outcome, it also results in increased health care cost hence poverty and poor economy.

Objective: The aim of this study was to identify prevalence of stress and various stressors, among the critical care nurses

Methods: A cross-sectional survey using quantitative research methods were used, where by 65 nurses who are working in critical care units were interviewed by using structured questionnaire consisting of close ended questions Since ICU nurses were 100 in number they were both targeted to be recruited from the study, but only 65 nurses were the one who returned the questionnaire. Validity and reliability of data questionnaires were tested to 10 ICU nurses at MOI. The collected data were analyzed using the computer software program (SPSS version 16.0).

Results: Study finding reveals that a variety of factors influence stress among ICU nurses at MNH. Among these, working environment, workload, interpersonal relationship as well as personal characteristics are identified to cause stress. Under personal characteristics knowledge and confidence as well as working as a team leader, performing or preparing sterile procedures like dressing, ETT suctioning, bronchoscope, CVP/AL insertion and dealing with machines that support patient breathing and others for hemodynamic monitoring (67.7%, 72.3% and 78.5% respectively) are among the stressors mentioned. Additionally, out of work for the past six months is also reported of which 75% of respondents reported that they to be out of work for the past six months.

This is really a large number of staff since 25% of the remaining staff is most likely to be overloaded with work hence affecting productivity, performance and quality outcome of the services.

Conclusion and recommendation: It is concluded that work environment, work load, interpersonal relationship are among stressors which make nurses working in critical care unit very uncomfortable. It is strongly recommended that new strategies and measures should be put in place in order to improve ICU working environment as well as to improve psychosocial among nurses.


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