Exploring the factors contributing to stress and coping strategies of nurses at University Teaching Hospital of Butare (UTHB) in Rwanda.
Uwimana, Marie Chantal.
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Stress among nurses is still perceived as a challenge experienced by the nursing profession. Several studies have shown the negative impact of stress on both nurses and patients. However, little is known about the factors influencing stress among nurses in Rwanda. Aim: The overall aim of the study was to explore the factors contributing to nurses’ stress and related coping strategies used by nurses in the University Teaching Hospital of Butare (UTHB), Rwanda. Methods: The researcher used a non-experimental, descriptive study to explore the factors contributing to nurses’ stress and related coping strategies used by nurses in the University Teaching Hospital of Butare, Rwanda. This study was informed by a stress and coping theoretical framework. A questionnaire was used to collect the demographic characteristics of participants, while nurses’ stressors were assessed using the questionnaire of nurse’s stressors previously developed by Bianchi. The ways of coping were evaluated using the ways of coping elaborated by Folkman & Lazarus. A convenient sampling of 85 registered nurses, working at UTHB, participated in this study. Permission to conduct the study was requested and obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal Ethics Committee, the Kigali Health Institute -Institutional Review Board and the management of UTHB. The data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 15, and was summarized using descriptive statistics. The results were presented in tables and graphs. Results: The findings of the study revealed that registered nurses at UTHB face a variety of stressors such as shortages of staff and materials, facing death and dying, dissatisfaction with the work environment, work overload and time spent on bureaucratic activities. It was shown that consequences of stress vis-à-vis registered nurses could be low quality of care, job dissatisfaction and burnout syndrome. Among the major strategies of coping with stress, registered nurses have indicated problem solving, social support and accepting responsibility. This study indicates that stress can be prevented and managed by using vi nursing strategies such as team work, effective communication improving work conditions and fostering the managerial nursing strategies in working unit. Conclusion: Drawing from these findings, it can be inferred that nurses’ stressors need to be addressed in order to create a working environment conducive to high quality of care and also to enhance nursing staff morale, satisfaction, motivation and retention.