Original Research

Occupational stress of nurses in South Africa

S Rothmann, JJ van der Colff, JC Rothmann
Curationis | Vol 29, No 2 | a1069 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v29i2.1069 | © 2006 S Rothmann, JJ van der Colff, JC Rothmann | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2006 | Published: 28 September 2006

About the author(s)

S Rothmann, WorkWell: Research Unit for People, Policy and Performance, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
JJ van der Colff, Afriforte (Pty) Ltd., North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
JC Rothmann, Afriforte (Pty) Ltd., Policy and Performance, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa

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The objective of this study was to examine the construct validity and reliability of the Nursing Stress Indicator (NSI) and to identify differences between occupational stressors of professional and enrolled nurses. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A sample of professional nurses (/V = 980) and enrolled and auxiliary nurses (N = 800) in South Africa was used. The NSI was developed as measuring instrument and administrated together with a biographical questionnaire. Five reliable stress factors, namely Patient Care, Job Demands, Lack of Support, Staff Issues, and Overtime were extracted. The most severe stressors for nurses included health risks posed by contact with patients, lack of recognition and insufficient staff. Watching patients suffer, demands of patients and staff issues were also severe stressors for professional nurses. The severity of stressors was higher for professional nurses (compared with enrolled and auxiliary nurses). Organisations that employ nurses should implement programmes to monitor and manage stress, specifically regarding staff issues and job demands.


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