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Authors

  1. Bethea, Audis PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP
  2. Samanta, Damayanti MS

Abstract

Introduction: Stressors unique to trauma patients may potentiate burnout in the trauma care team. Among health care workers, nurses historically demonstrate high rates of burnout and are often the first caregivers in which patients interact. There is limited research, however, investigating burnout in trauma nurses. This study aims to evaluate levels of burnout and perceptions of work-life in nurses and ancillary staff at a Level 1 trauma center.

 

Methods: An anonymous, cross-sectional, online survey was administered utilizing the Maslach Burnout Toolkit to investigate levels of burnout and work-life. Supplemental questions developed by investigators were included to gather additional details about the work environment.

 

Results: A total of 126 trauma staff completed the survey yielding a response rate of 73%. Trauma staff exhibited low degrees of emotional exhaustion (M = 2.53, SD = 1.29) and depersonalization (M = 1.83, SD = 1.33). Staff with 4 to less than 9 years of tenure at the study institution experienced these emotions at the highest level. Overall, staff cited documentation requirements and patient-to-staff ratios as prominent concerns with their work-life. There were significant negative associations between manageable workload with emotional exhaustion (r = -0.68) and depersonalization (r = -0.56).

 

Conclusions: Overall, low degrees of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization were exhibited, but significant increases were noted in staff with increasing tenure. These findings suggest that cited aspects of work-life may impact the development of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization over time. Pilot interventions are underway to identify an acuity-adjusted staffing process and a user-friendly electronic documentation platform to improve the institution's work environment.