In the article “Stress Among New Oncology Nurses” from the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, stress is viewed as an issue in the nursing profession, especially in the oncology areas of nursing. In my review of this source, nursing is one of the most stressful careers out there, and the causes for stress as well as its intensity vary greatly from the unit the nurse works to the patients, to management. The factors that causes stress specifically to those working oncology are numerous and make oncology nurses in high demand for many hospitals since so many quit their jobs within the first few years. Some factors that cause many nurses to quit involve seeing their patients in terribly ill states, report of dispute among healthcare staff, and poor-quality education prior to starting their jobs on the oncology floor.
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A study was given by using the simple, yet effective source popularly known as SurveyMonkey to find out what causes stress, how stress is dealt with daily, and what measures should be taken by all healthcare employees to reduce stress in the workplace. Not only was a questionnaire used, but also an interview guide. The nurses who took this survey were all new, having only been employed for 3 years or less; there were 42 nurses who participated. Unfortunately, out of the 42 who completed the survey, 19 of them were contemplating leaving their jobs due to its emotional effects on their lives and the heavy workload, which may also be true for other nursing units, however, oncology shows to have greater intensity and can often be harder for nurses to handle.
The nurses who took this survey reported some methods they use to relieve stress, such as talking to others about their stress (often those closest to the nurse in relation), the use of pharmaceutical drugs, praying (if they’re a spiritual person), and looking to other professionals for therapy and physical or emotional healing.
The stress brought on by these nurse’s careers may seem to many as a normal feeling in the workforce, but through the eyes of healthcare professionals, this can cause many other issues. When stress is short term, symptoms of this include increased heart rate, tightening of muscles and clenching of jawline, and increased blood pressure and respirations. People who are stressed often easily become agitated, frustrated, and overwhelmed, and show low levels of their self-esteem, and signs of depression often begin to show. Stress often causes disorganization, poor judgement, procrastination, and an inability to focus; if not handled properly and swiftly, these will affect patient care in negative ways. If not dealt with adequately, long-term stress will set in, which will make the individual more susceptible to illness, both mentally and physically.
Some of the recommendations for oncology nurses as a result of this study are that hospital and other healthcare settings encourage and uplift their employees, and improve educational programs for newly hired oncology nursing staff that will teach the staff how to handle the highly stressful job, how to seek help when needed, and some options for how to deal with stress even after they leave at the end of each shift. Once hospitals do this, there is a great likelihood less nurses will quit and there will be greater job satisfaction, ultimately lessening the workload for many and less of a shortage of oncology nurses. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should see stress as an incredibly important issue in the nursing field since it is the main reason for increasingly high job turnover rates and causes a decrease in the quality of patient care and satisfaction. The nurses need to be given the environment and tools to handle their stress appropriately so they can provide emotional support for patients as well as the patient’s family.
- Mohammed Naholi, R., Nosek, C. L., & Somayaj, D. (2015).
- Stress among new oncology nurses. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 19(1), 115–117.
- Retrieved from Science Direct database: https://cmps-ezproxy.mnu.edu:2259/docview/1655557310/D588917F216F4298PQ/42?accountid=40962. Accessed Oct. 16, 2019.