Work Stressors in Nursing Practice

Table of Contents

Examples of work stressors

Working as a nurse in a hospital is a stressful experience mostly because this position puts a practitioner in a high-stakes environment. One of the biggest causes of stress in my experience has to do with the amount of time I spend trying to acquire authorization before doing some basic tasks. In my current position, it appears that I am shrouded by things I am trained to do but I cannot do them unless a senior nurse or a doctor issues the necessary authorization.

Consequently, I spend a lot of time running around the hospital seeking authorization before carrying out various procedures. Moreover, I have to adhere to strict but conflicting timetables when it comes to certain patient procedures such as administering medication and attending to medical emergencies.

Explanation of work stressors

These stressors are mostly related to role ambiguity, whereby as a nurse I am expected to meet all my job responsibilities, perform efficiently, conform to my level of authority, and avoid mistakes in all my functions (Bussing & Glaser, 2010). For instance, most of my problems are due to the fact that I have not worked for a long time at my current station. Therefore, it is often difficult for me to ‘put faces to the names that I encounter in charts and duty rosters. Role ambiguity is mostly manifested when individuals are not familiar with situations such as new employees, overseas practitioners, and fresh-out-of-college employees.

In my case, my unfamiliarity and lack of experience extenuate my problems with role ambiguity. These problems also relate to task control whereby I have little to no control over my assignments, the pace of actions, and the speed of performance (Duquette, Kerowc, & Beaudet, 2014). For example, reviving a patient and other emergency procedures take precedence over all other possible activities.

Solution to stressors

Stress has a lot to do with adaptation and in my case, the latter appears to be the solution to the former. The fact that I have not yet learned the names of all the hospital staff members indicates that I am yet to adapt to my new work environment. Consequently, I expect to go through the general adaptation syndrome (GAS). Unless I end up being exhausted in the process, I expect to maneuver the situation successfully. The procedure of resolving the stress begins with the belief that adaptation is a continuous process. Therefore, my self-awareness, problem-solving prowess, adopted coping strategies, and ability to recognize my limitations will be vital in the future.

Organizations and stressors

Organizations can reduce stress from happening if they take actions that eliminate stress-inducing scenarios. First, organizations should make sure that they are no unclear job descriptions within their work environments. Organizations should also make sure that new employees do not harbor unreasonable job expectations (Payne, 2011). In addition, organizations should eliminate chains of commands that have elements of ambiguity. Finally, it is important for organizations to ensure that the strengths and weaknesses of employees are matched by their assignments.

Individuals and stressors

Individuals can deal with strain by ensuring that they are in control of their assigned workloads. Consequently, employees should ensure that they are getting enough rest, relaxation, and rest. Another way for employees to manage stressors is by having the privilege of being in charge of their input (Vahey, Aiken, & Vargas, 2004). For instance, even individuals who work under other people should be able to adjudge their input on their own terms. Establishing a good working relationship with other staff members also helps employees to reduce stress.


Bussing, A., & Glaser, J. (2010). A four-stage process model of the core factors of burnout: The role of work stressors and work-related resources. Work & Stress14(4), 329-346.

Duquette, A., Kerowc, S., & Beaudet, L. (2014). Factors related to nursing burnout a review of empirical knowledge. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 15(4), 337-358.

Payne, N. (2011). Occupational stressors and coping as determinants of burnout in female hospice nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 33(3), 396-405.

Vahey, D. C., Aiken, L. H., & Vargas, D. (2004). Nurse burnout and patient satisfaction. Medical Care, 42(2), 57-59.

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