Staff under stress need to be supported

Patricia Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Work-related stress is a leading cause of sickness absence, high staff turnover and early retirement in the UK workforce so the increasingly demanding nature of emergency nursing places all staff under pressure. Inevitably errors of judgment may result when staff feel frustrated as they try to juggle the increasing numbers of patient attendances with complex treatment and care processes.
Staff stress is a complex issue generated from various factors such as low managerial and peer support, insufficient pay and, lack of professional recognition which can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue. Additionally, the magnitude of what emergency nurses witness in their everyday work creates the conditions for post-traumatic stress to be experienced. Indeed, it is relatively easy to slip into maladaptive lifestyle behaviours in response to the stress.
Specific psychological strategies such as counselling, mindfulness and cognitive-behavioural therapies may help some presentations but not all, and it is important that post-traumatic stress be prevented. It is however questionable whether management strategies to alleviate stress merely amounts to a sticking plaster over a festering wound.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-5
Number of pages1
JournalEmergency Nurse
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2017


  • emergency nurse
  • stress


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