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Nurses report Feeling Undervalued causes more Stress than Work

Update Date: Dec 16, 2015 11:34 AM EST

Nurses reveal that they feel more stress from being underappreciated at work than from the work itself, a new study found.

For this study, the researchers from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland headed by Professors Derek and Marie Johnston recruited 100 nurses who worked a major teaching hospital. The researchers measured the nurses' heart rate while they completed two shits. The nurses were also asked to report the tasks they faced as well as how stressful they felt every 90 minutes.

The team found that when tending to patients or speaking with other health professionals did not directly affect the nurses' stress levels. Instead, it was the nurses' perception of their work that did. When the demands of the job increased, nurses who did not report higher levels of stress stated that they felt in control of their duties and they felt valued. Nurses who felt underappreciated, however, did end up reporting higher levels of stress.

"Our results show that feelings of stress are more likely to be due to factors influencing how the work is perceived rather than the work itself," Derek Johnston said reported by Medical Xpress. "Nursing is inevitably demanding and the effects of demand can be seen physiologically by an increase in heart rate which over time, might impinge on their long-term health. We found that these effects of demand are reduced if the nurse feels that they are in control and that their work is valued.

The researchers noted that understanding how the demands of the job affect nurses could help medical facilities implement better environments that can help reduce stress.

"In the future we should consider ways of increasing the control that nurses have and how rewarded they feel so that we can minimize their stress," Johnston added.

The study was published in the journal, Annals of Behavioural Medicine.

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