The impact of occupational stress on physiological and psychological well-being of employees is well documented, as well as the adverse effects of occupational stress on organisational functioning. Nursing occupational stressors are divided in nursing-specific demands, job demands and lack of organisational support. If unattended, occupational stress may progress to burnout. Burnout is a type of response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job and it is conceptualised as emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and personal accomplishment. It has been an issue particularly prominent in the human service occupations. The nursing profession specifically meets these criteria. Individuals who work under these circumstances are at greater risk of developing burnout. 53 nurses completed a biographical questionnaire, the Nursing Stress Survey (NSS) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). Results indicate that trauma unit nursing staff experience moderate levels of occupational stress and average levels of burnout. Various stressors were identified that nursing staff experienced relatively severely. Emotional exhaustion is related to nursing-specific demands, job demands and lack of organisational support with large effect, indicating the importance of occupational stress in the development of burnout. It is important that management take cognizance of the relationships in order to have a pro-active approach to organisational stress management with the implementation of preventative interventions.
Dissertation (MCom (Human Resources Management))--University of Pretoria, 2006.