Occupational stress and coping strategies among nurses – preliminary research

Katarzyna Kwiecień-Jaguś, Wioletta Mędrzycka-Dąbrowska, Anna Małecka-Dubiela



Introduction: Stress is inherent in the work of medical staff at health care establishments. The problem of stress in the working environment of nursing staff becomes more and more important in the context of increasing staff shortages and insufficient support from colleagues and employers.

The aim of this paper was to analyse and compare the stressors associated with the day-to-day work of nursing staff and to examine the relationship between stress and the way of coping with it.

Materials and methods: The study was anonymous and voluntary. The research included 106 nurses from different types of wards. The study used a questionnaire and two standardized research tools: Nursing Stress Scale and Brief Cope-28 Scale. All the statistical calculations were performed on the basis of IBM SPSS 20 software and an Excel spreadsheet.

Results: Among the multiple stress factors in the work environment, the most typical stressors facing nursing staff were: death and dying (M 15.19; SD ±3.10), workload (M 14.73; SD ±3.13), and conflicts between nurses and physicians (M 10.42; SD ±1.85). The research showed a significant relationship between stress and the place of work (H = 13.99; p < 0.05). The results showed that nurses very often use positive mechanisms to minimize stress like planning (M 6.31; SD ±1.31) or positive reframing (M 5.84; SD ±1.49). Another analysis indicated a strong relationship between age and resorting to spirituality and social support.

Conclusion: Nursing work is characterized by a very high level of stress. Some of the stress factors like nurse-physician conflicts may be reduced by better management and work organization.


stress; coping styles; nursing staff; risk factors; workload; workplace

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21164/pomjlifesci.445

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