Recalling Stress and Trauma in the Workplace: A Qualitative Study of Pediatric Nurses
Anna E. Kleis and Marni B. Kellogg
Problem: Secondary traumatic stress has been identified as a problem in the nursing workforce, leading to adverse effects on mental health and job dissatisfaction.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to begin to discover more about the events and stressors pediatric nurses experience that may lead to the development of secondary traumatic stress.
Results:Content analysis was performed with the open-ended responses from a cross-sectional survey asking, "Is there anything else you would like to share?" Seventy-two responses were analyzed and six prevalent themes were identified: pressure to perform despite emotion, feeling unsupported, inability to separate traumatic experiences from personal life, consumption by traumatic experiences, using positivity to cope, and the need for further research.
Conclusions: Pediatric nursing is stressful, yet many nurses also find it rewarding. Measures to improve the nurse's awareness of work-related stress, including education and breaks during the workday, should be encouraged. Further research is needed to determine which experiences are most traumatic for pediatric nurses, negative effects of secondary traumatic stress for patients, and interventions that best reduce secondary traumatic stress in nursing.