An exploration into the experiences of stress among female general nurses

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Howe, Nicholas
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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Background: The nursing community are the stitches which mend society back together when torn. Although nurses are central to society, there has been a lack of acknowledgement by the public. Nurses are often portrayed as the smiling, happy individual who cares for an individual while in hospital. The goal of this research project was to explore the experiences of stress among the female general nursing population. It was important to target the causes and affects which such experiences can have on their wellbeing. Methods: A qualitative research study was carried out consisting of six semi-structured interviews. All the female participants worked as a general nurse in an urban hospital setting for no more than five years. The data which was gathered from the interviews was evaluated by data led thematic analysis. Results: The experience of stress among the nursing participants was more significant than previously thought. The main causes of stress included workload, time management and long working hours. The main contributor to stress found was the lack of debriefing services within the workplace. Conclusion: Nurses feel both satisfied and unsatisfied with their job. Their job is extremely rewarding however it comes at a price. The research found that experiences of stress were common place in the role of a general nurse. It highlights the causes of stress and its effects on the individual in their personal life. Preventions such as debriefing services are not in place on a regular basis which could help the nursing community to better manage their stress. Author keywords: Nursing, stress