Identify level of stress among new graduate registered nurses (RN's) working in emergency room settings
Aim: To identify level of stress and factors related to it among new graduate registered nurses (RN's) working in Emergency Room settings.
Methodology: A type of cross-sectional study was conducted among 50 new graduated nurses working in emergency room settings. The method of data collection used was a self-administered questionnaire. This contained various items on psychosomatic symptoms, self-perceived health, job satisfaction, emotional load and social support from peers. Self-reported stress level was measured by the question: ’How stressful do you perceive your present job? The response could be ranked by a ten point scale from the lowest level of perceived stress (1) to the highest (10). Based on the responses the participants were categorized into one of the three following groups: low (1-3 scores), medium (4-6 scores) and high (7-10 scores) stress levels. As to the frequency of psychosomatic symptoms, the following self-reported symptoms were investigated: tension headache, back-pain, sleeping problems, chronic fatigue. These items were from the Psychosomatic Symptom Checklist . The aim of this measure was to obtain information on the frequency of these symptoms during the past 12 months.
Results: Among the 50 enrolled nurses, 76% were females and 24% were males. 68% of nurses belonged to 20-25 years of age group, while 32% belonged to more than 25 years of age group. 82% nurses were unmarried and 18% were married. Out of 1-10 stress level likert scale, 22% participants had low (1-3 scores), 52% had moderate (4-6 scores), and 26% had high stress levels (7-10 scores). Majority of the participants had often tension headache (36%), seldom back pain (42%), seldom sleeping problems (24%), and chronic fatigue occasionally (36%). Out of 50 participants, 30% were rather satisfied, 42% were so-so satisfied, and 32% were rather dissatisfied with the job.
curricula of (new) RN orientation. This can be achieved through simulation, case studies, role play, reflection activities, and role modeling in the clinical work environment. Assisting newly-graduated nurses in identifying transferrable (life) skills may help decrease anxiety that can be associated to work-related stressors. This study also suggests that having supportive relationships with peers may reduce the occurrence of nurses’ high stress levels. Beyond improving social support and the psychosocial climate in the workplace, special emphasis should be put on identifying those who are at special high vulnerability for work-related stress.