DOI: 10.5176/2315-4330_WNC15.116

Authors: Fang-yu Chou and Ryan Bresnick


Burnout among nurses is a looming threat for nurses, administrators, and the medical system as a whole, because it lowers retention, decreases moral, and creates serious distress for both new graduate and established nurses (Hooper et al., 2010). The nurse work environment has been shown to have a direct effect on nurse burnout. Burnout and nurse work environment may be especially important to understand in the emergency department (ED) setting due to the unpredictable nature of the ED, and the frequency of fast paced, high-stress events. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the job burnout level and perceived work environment reported by the Emergency Department nurses. The study methodology used the descriptive online survey approach. Participants were recruited from the emergency department nurses at three hospitals in San Francisco. Invitation emails were sent to all ED nurses at these three agencies in the online anonymous survey in July 2014. The survey includes questions from the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PES-NWI) scales to evaluate their perceived burnout level and work environment. Fifty-one nurses completed the online surveys. Sixty percent of the participants were females. Seventy-five percents of the participants had worked as nurses for over 10 years. The subscales of burnout inventory show the participants reported moderate level of emotional exhaustion (27.08, SD = 11.5), high level of depersonalization (12.46, SD = 7.81), but have moderate level of personal achievement (36.02, SD = 7.32). The practice work environment show moderate levels of all subscales: nurse participation in hospital affairs (2.11, SD = 0.42), nursing foundations for quality of care (2.40, SD = 0.39), nurse manager ability, leadership, and support of nurses (2.26, SD = 0.64), staffing and resource adequacy (2.11, SD = 0.52), and collegial nurse-physician relations (3.01, SD = 0.53). The correlation analysis showed that emotional exhaustion is significantly and reversely associated with nurse participation in hospital affairs (r = -0.38, p < 0 .05), nurse manager ability, leadership, and support of nurses (r = -0.38, p < 0 .05), staffing and resource adequacy (r = -0.36, p < 0 .05), and the overall composite score (r = -0.49, p < 0 .05) of PES-NWI . This pilot project adds to the body of literature regarding nursing burnout and the work environment in San Francisco emergency departments. The results suggested moderate level of burnout reported by these participants. Potential intervention to reduce the level of burnout level at the Emergency Department should be explored to support better working environment. Keywords: Job Burnout, Work Environment, Emergency Department, Nurses

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