Futurity

For better patient care, take care of nurses

There are currently more nurses leaving the profession than getting into it. "Compassion practices"—which recognize and reward their work—could help make things better.

“Compassion practices”—relatively conventional organizational practices that reward and recognize caregiving work and include job-related resources to cope with stress and provide pastoral care—can have a positive effect on nurses’ work and well-being, a new study suggests.

“We know there is a burnout epidemic among nurses.”

Nursing is among the top 10 fastest-growing occupations in the United States, but the number of nurses exiting the profession currently outpaces the number of those entering. And the turnover rate is getting even higher.

The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation recently reported that nearly 20 percent of nurses leave the profession during their first year and one in three is gone within two years.

“We know there is a burnout epidemic among nurses,” says Allison Gabriel, assistant professor of management and organizations in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

“The stress of caring for patients, the demands from patient families and from physicians—these are likely contributing to a growing nursing shortage in the United States, leaving us with fewer trained caregivers at a time when, increasingly, we’ll need more,” Gabriel says.

In an attempt to evaluate how compassion practices influenced nurses’ reports of well-being, researchers studied 177 nurses in 30 ambulatory clinics in a Southeastern hospital.

They found that in clinics where compassion practices were the norm, nurses self-reported less emotional exhaustion (feelings of fatigue and stress and of being overextended) and more psychological vitality (feelings of alertness, vigor, and energy).

The researchers also found that in clinics with higher levels of compassion practices, patients reported better interactions with nurses and gave higher evaluations of their patient care experience. The results show that compassion practices improve nurses’ well-being and are good for patients, too.

“The advantages of instituting and encouraging compassion practices can be significant,” Gabriel says. “They are low-cost, budget-conscious tactics. They help produce happier nurses, and they result in patients having a better care experience in the clinics.

“Given the positive association with patient experience ratings, our study demonstrates the business case for compassion practices. Health care administrators should consider the use of these practices as a tool to improve nurse well-being and to achieve higher patient ratings.”

Laura McClelland, assistant professor of health administration and doctoral student Matthew J. DePucci, both of Virginia Commonwealth University, contributed to the study, which appears in Medical Care.

Source: Amy Schmitz for University of Arizona

The post For better patient care, take care of nurses appeared first on Futurity.

More from Futurity

Futurity3 min read
1 Simple Talk Cuts Opioid Use After Hysterectomy
Involving women in decisions about hysterectomy pain management after counseling them on opioid risks may significantly reduce opioid prescriptions—without an increase in patients asking for refills, a new study suggests. As reported in the Green Jou
Futurity3 min readPsychology
Symptoms Pop Up Earlier For Kids Of People With Dementia
People with dementia whose parents also had dementia develop symptoms an average of six years earlier than their parents did, according to new research. Family history, variations in certain genes, and medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseas
Futurity3 min readPsychology
Most Deprived Areas Of England Get Most Benzo Prescriptions
The highest number of prescriptions for benzodiazepines and Z-drugs to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and sleep problems go to people who live in the most deprived areas in England, a new study shows. Doctors often prescribe this group of drugs a