'Man is not disturbed by Events, but of the view he takes of them' (Epictetus) : a quantitative study to determine the levels of stress in nurses

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Killilea, Niamh
Issue Date
BA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Aim: To determine the levels of stress in oncology nurses and to identify their coping mechanisms. Background: It has been shown that nurses are bombarded by a variety of stressors both in their personal lives and more particularly in their professional life. There is also a range of studies that investigate their coping strategies. This study aims to examine this in an Irish context and to compare them to other author's findings. Setting A Dublin based hospital Methods A quantitative study design was used to collect and analyse the data. A twopart questionnaire was developed. The first part was derived from the literature and the second part comprised of a stress predictor test, which was an adaptation of a recognised scale. Results: The questionnaire was administered to 98 nurses and fifty nurses (51.02%) returned completed questionnaires. The results indicate that 66% of nurses (n=33) scored over 200 on the Stress Predictor Test and that their level of awareness of that stress was low. 76% (n=38) claimed that medical doctors were their greatest source of stress. The most common (64%, n=32) coping mechanism used was drinking and pubs, which are detrimental to the personal health of the nurse. The other prolific coping mechanism was talking (56%, n=26) and counselling was reported as a coping strategy. Conclusion: The results point to the need to support nurses in relaxation skills, self development and self-awareness, which is in line with other studies on the subject.