A study of perceptions of workplace stress amongst registered nurses working in selected care areas in public hospitals in Umgungundlovu District province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Majola, Ntombizakhona Clementine.
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Nurses work in the environment which presents excessive psychological demands with a low to moderate job control. Depending on the level of social support they receive from the colleagues and supervisors, they perceive their work circumstances to be laden with excessive job demands, in the absence of social support. On the other hand they perceive their work circumstances to be facilitating, with less perceptions of workplace stress, in the presence of social support. Workplace stress results from a combination of factors. There is a three way interaction between job demands (qualitative aspects) job control (skill discretion and decision-making latitude) and social support. Social support moderates the perceptions of workplace stress from the work environment among registered nurses. A Job Content Questionnaire and Perceived Stress Scale instrument was used to describe the levels of perceived stress among registered nurses. There was a significant relationship between job demand and selected care units the participants were working in. There was no significant relationship between job control and the units the participants were working in. The study revealed a highly significant relationship between the population and race and job demand. Age and job demand was highly significant, the younger the nurses’ age was, the higher the incidence of perceived workplace stress. There was a highly significant relationship between job demand and social support. The study did not detect the direction of the relationship among variables. Hypothesis testing revealed that the distribution of perceived workplace stress was normal, thus the null-hypothesis was retained. Availability of social support, capacity building and real world preparation for nurse training, a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, were the recommendations for nursing practice, management, education and future research.