NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ956977
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-1923-6182
The Experience of Witnessing Patients' Trauma and Suffering among Acute Care Nurses
Walsh, Mary E.; Buchanan, Marla J.
Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, v45 n4 p349-364 2011
A large body of research provides evidence of workplace injuries to those in the nursing profession. Research on workplace stress and burnout among medical professionals is also well known; however, the profession of acute care nursing has not been examined with regards to work-related stress. This qualitative study focused on acute care nurses' workplace stress, as 5 acute care nurses described experiences related to witnessing patients' trauma and suffering. Through the use of phenomenological analysis, five main themes emerged from the interviews, revealing a more in-depth understanding of nurses' experiences in acute care settings. These themes were (a) shock and prolonged witnessing of suffering, (b) long-term effects, (c) distancing as a coping strategy, (d) feelings of guilt and helplessness, and (e) dissonance in core beliefs about self. The results are discussed in terms of coping strategies and recommendations for counsellors working with health care professionals.
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. 223 Colonnade Road South Suite 114, Ottawa, ON K2E 7K3, Canada. Tel: 877-765-5565; Tel: 613-237-1099; Fax: 613-237-9786; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada