Health Intensive care takes toll on nurses

Intensive care takes toll on nurses

Nurses in intensive care units experience high levels of burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder, largely due to the challenges of providing end of life care.

The most common challenges for intensive care unit (ICU) nurses have been identified in research from The University of Notre Dame Australia.

One in four patients admitted to ICU die in hospital and the study found negative end of life care experiences were the main factor in poor psychological health among nurses.

Previous research has found more than 85 per cent of nurses in ICU wards were experiencing burnout, while almost a quarter had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Among the challenges nurses faced in providing quality care were managing a patient’s family members and dealing with doctors with differing medical opinions.

With the obstacles to quality care now identified, it is hoped the research will trigger change to ICU practice, allowing better outcomes for patients and nurses’ wellbeing.

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