Comparing burnout in emergency nurses and medical nurses

Maureen Harkin, V MELBY

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Aims: This paper reports the findings of a study that aimed to determine and compare the prevalence of burnout between emergency nurses and medical nurses, and to examine how burnout was influenced by a range of job-related and personal factors. Methods: The study incorporated a descriptive quantitative design, and based in a Regional General Hospital in the Republic of Ireland, a total population sample of 61 emergency nurses and medical nurses working on one acute medical unit were asked to participate. A validated tool was used to measure burnout levels, and an instrument was designed tocapture job-related and personal data that were deemed to be potentially important on the basis of existing evidence. Results: A response rate of 78.6% (n = 48) was obtained. Although the results need to be interpreted with caution, analysisrevealed no significant difference in Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalisation or Personal Accomplishment levelsbetween medical nurses and emergency nurses. The job-related and personal factors of gender, age, marital status and thenumber of hours worked per week were significantly (p <.05) associated with burnout. Conclusion: The findings of this study consolidate existing knowledge on burnout in nurses and confirm that burnout is prevalent in emergency and medical nurses. The findings have also identified nursing groups that have higher levels of burnout so that burnout reduction measures can be targeted at them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-163
JournalClinical Nursing Studies
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished online - 29 Jun 2014


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