The literature on stresses in ICU nursing is reviewed to help the liaison psychiatrist facilitate nurses' coping with the considerable stresses in their work environment. Excessive workloads and understaffing have been found to be the most intense stresses. Also important are intrapsychic and interpersonal issues such as emotional reaction to loss, conflicts between ICU personnel, and insecurity stimulated by great responsibility in patient care. The studies reviewed suggest that nurses cope with these stresses by talking things out, by active mastery of complex technical procedures, and by drawing on mutually shared past experiences. Based on the above findings, the authors suggest means to reduce stress and enhance ICU nurses' coping.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health