Open Access

Work Structure in the Chronic Care Setting: Possible Consequences for Nurses' Mental Health

Structure du travail en matière de soins aux malades chroniques: conséquences possibles sur la santé mentale du personnel infirmier

Author: Alderson, Marie

Source: CJNR (Canadian Journal of Nursing Research), Volume 40, Number 3, September 2008 , pp. 160-178(19)

Publisher: McGill School of Nursing

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The purpose of this study was to add to the body of knowledge on nurses' work environment in order to better understand their collective experience and the reasons for their mental health issues. A psychodynamic approach to work was used. The results show that the main source of nurses' dissatisfaction with their work is the perceived failure of management and other professionals to accord them due recognition, autonomy, and professional power. This situation is largely the result of an inappropriate organization of nurses' work, with nursing responsibilities unmatched by their degree of recognition, autonomy, and power. The author concludes that the organization of nursing must be transformed, not only to lower the rate of absenteeism but also to improve nursing care and enhance the professionalization of nursing.

La présente étude avait pour objet d'enrichir l'ensemble des connaissances sur le cadre de travail des infirmières et des infirmiers, de manière à mieux comprendre leur expérience collective ainsi que l'origine de leurs problèmes de santé mentale. Une approche psychodynamique du travail a été adoptée. Les résultats montrent que la principale source d'insatisfaction par rapport au travail est leur sentiment que la direction et les autres professionnels ne leur accordent pas la reconnaissance, l'autonomie et l'autorité professionnelle qu'elles et ils méritent. Cette situation résulte en grande partie d'une organisation inappropriée du travail du personnel infirmier, dont les responsabilités ne correspondent pas à leur niveau de reconnaissance, d'autonomie et d'autorité professionnelle. L'auteure conclut qu'il faut transformer l'organisation des soins infirmiers, pour non seulement réduire le taux d'absentéisme mais aussi améliorer les soins infirmiers et en renforcer la professionnalisation.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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  • CJNR is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal published by the McGill University School of Nursing since 1969. With world-wide circulation, CJNR's primary mandate is to publish original nursing research that develops basic knowledge for the discipline and examines the application of the knowledge in practice. Research related to education and history is also welcomed, as are methodological, theoretical, and review papers that advance nursing science. Letters or commentaries about published articles are encouraged. Learn more.
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