Burnout and Role Overload Among Nurses

Table of Contents


The ability to critically assess and analyze all available sources of information is of paramount importance to a prospective researcher. Many students make a mistake of parroting thoughts and opinions from peer-reviewed articles and books without even considering the possibility of these sources being flawed. The purpose of this paper is to analyze and provide a critique of a quantitative research article dedicated to nursing overload, burnout, and managerial coping strategies at Intensive Care Units (ICU).

Background of Study

The article is titled “Relationship among Nurses Role Overload, Burnout and Managerial Coping Strategies at Intensive Care Units,” written by Rushdy, M.F., and published in the International Journal of Nursing Education in 2016.

The article addresses burnout and role overload among nurses. It is a psychological effect frequent to high-stress working environments. Nurses suffer burnouts frequently. While there are plenty of articles addressing the issue in one way or another, most of them tend to be qualitative researches rather than quantitative. This is the first research on the subject conducted by the medical staff of Assiut Hospital (Rushdy, 2016).

The significance of the study is justified by the fact that cases of burnout and role overload are extremely frequent, especially in high-stress environments such as intensive care units. A nurse suffering from burnout may express cynicism and apathy towards her patients and show reduced professional efficacy (Rushdy, 2016). This reduces the overall quality of healthcare and increases the chances of errors and mistakes among nurses, which can be dangerous.

The reviewed article’s purpose is to investigate the relation between nurse role overload, cases of burnout, and the use of managerial stress-relief strategies to assess the effectiveness of the latter. This assessment would allow identifying the most effective strategies commonly implemented among the medical staff of the Assiut Hospital (Rushdy, 2016).

The research seeks to answer the question of the connection between managerial coping strategies and nurse role overload and burnout. The question repeats the purpose of the research, word to word.

Methods of Study

The author did not identify any benefits or risks of participation associated with the study. The primary reason for that being that the nature of the study was noninvasive, thus presenting no danger to the participants whatsoever. The study did not require the participants to endure any stress or perform difficult and time-consuming tasks, thus soliciting no rewards.

Oral consent was obtained from all participants, and they were informed of their rights to refuse or withdraw from participation at any time. The author states that all subjects participated voluntarily. There is no reason to not believe these claims. The institutional review board approved the protocol of the study(Rushdy, 2016).

The author identified all major dependent and independent variables and listed them in several tables at the end of the article. Dependent variables include role overload, burnout, and four main managerial coping strategies, while independent variables included numerous socio-demographic characteristics, such as age, sex, marital status, and experience (Rushdy, 2016).

The main tool for data collection was the questionnaire. It was the optimal method for conducting this type of quantitative study. The researcher employed several types of questionnaires, such as the socio-demographic data sheet, role overload questionnaire by Harris and Bladen, managerial coping strategies questionnaire by Chan, and burnout questionnaire by Maslach (Rushdy, 2016). Data collection began in June 2015 and ended in July 2015 (Rushdy, 2016). During data collection, the participants were asked to fill out four questionnaires, and send the results back whenever they had the time. To analyze the data, Pearson’s correlational analysis and Spearman’s rank correlational analysis methods were used (Rushdy, 2016). The researcher used statistical software to process the available data and ensure the accuracy of the analysis.

The author mentions nothing about any measures taken to avoid bias. The author did not employ any assistance from other researchers in analyzing the results of the research. This is likely because, in a quantitative study, the results are usually clear and not as open to interpretation as they are in qualitative research.

Results of Study

The study found that the highest role overload, burnout, and managerial coping strategy mean scores were in general ICU followed by causality ICU and post-operative ICU (Rushdy, 2016). The researcher concluded that the four most popular managerial coping strategies are rational problem solving, resigned distancing, seeking emotional support, and passive wishful thinking. The latter was proven ineffective in dealing with role overload (Rushdy, 2016).

The findings are supported by similar researches conducted in other hospitals, as well as peer-reviewed studies. I have complete confidence in the validity and plausibility of the findings. The author outlines the limitations of the study by limiting it to Assiut Hospital alone, and not claiming the results to be universally applied. The article was presented in a coherent and easy-to-understand manner, with no logical fallacies or loopholes.

The results of the study, while reflecting the situation in Assiut Hospital alone, can be extended to other hospitals in Egypt. While it is possible to apply the results and recommendations to medical facilities outside of Egypt, it is more likely for them to be inaccurate due to cultural and regional specifics. Suggestions for further studies include investigating relations among job satisfaction, job stress, personality traits, and burnout among ICU staff (Rushdy, 2016).

Ethical Considerations

The author made all the necessary precautions to ensure that all ethical considerations were taken into account, before and during research. The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board. Patient privacy was protected – no names were mentioned in the article. No breaches of medical or research ethics were detected (Rushdy, 2016).


Burnout and role overload among nurses are widespread psychological afflictions that come with the profession. Knowing how to prevent these afflictions is important, as they can severely hamper a nurse’s professional efficacy and endanger her and the patients.

From an analytical point of view, the study has no major flaws. It has a solid thesis, factual and empirical data to back it up, and plausible and believable conclusions. Unlike certain research papers, it is written in a simple and easy-to-understand way, without being overly formulaic and confusing. However, the article did not feature any definitions of the mentioned coping strategies, which could be confusing for the readers and force them to conduct additional research, to understand the article’s implications.

The conclusions and results are important and applicable to nursing practice. The research concluded that rational problem solving, resigned distancing, seeking emotional support, and passive wishful thinking is effective at reducing stress and role overload.


Rushdy, M.F. (2016). Relationship among nurses role overload, burnout and managerial coping strategies at intensive care units. International Journal of Nursing Education, 8(2), 39-45.

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