Frontline nurses' perceptions of work environment, burnout, stress, and satisfaction at the time of COVID-19

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess frontline nurses’ job-burnout and examine its associated factors including nurses’ socio-demographics, work environment, job-related stress, and job satisfaction. Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study design was used. Data were collected from frontline nurses working in two public hospitals in the Sultanate of Oman over a three-month period. Nurses’ perception of job-burnout was measured using the emotional exhaustion sub-scale of Maslach Burnout Inventory. Perception of the work environment was measured using the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PES-NWI). Job-related stress was measured using Perceived Stress Scale. Job satisfaction was measured by asking nurses to rate their satisfaction with their current job. A multivariate regression analysis was conducted. Results: A total of 379 nurses participated, with an overall response rate of 63%. On average, nurses reported a high level of job burnout (mean = 31.88, SD = 11.8). Findings revealed that lower job satisfaction (β = -4.48±2.00; p = 0.027) and higher levels of job-related stress (β = 1.5±0.22; p <0.001) were associated with higher levels of burnout. In addition, nurses’ perception of inadequate staffing and insufficient resources was significantly associated with increasing nurses’ burnout (β = -1.35±0.51; p = 0.009). The overall regression model explained 59% of variances in nurses' job emotional exhaustion. Conclusion: Frontline nurses experienced high levels of emotional exhaustion and jobrelated stresses during COVID-19 pandemic that warrant further support. Therefore, identifying work environment characteristics that can reduce nurses’ burnout is critical to ensure a healthy work setting and safe delivery of patient care. One of the mechanisms to reduce the impact of these psychological issues is by providing adequate staffing and sufficient resources. The healthcare policymakers should develop strategies to ensure the availability of safe staffing during this and other potential future pandemics. In addition, developing strategies at organizational level to reduce work-related stress are needed to reduce nurses’ emotional exhaustion. However, further qualitative and interventional studies are needed to explore strategies needed to improve the working environment and enhancing nurses’ psychological health
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSigma theta tau international
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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