Stress and coping in a NICU

Authors

  • Susan L. Rosenthal,

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    • Susan L. Rosenthal, PhD, currently is a psychologist at the Adolescent Clinic, Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • Kathleen D. Schmid,

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    • Kathleen D. Schmid, PhD, is a psychologist at the University of Maryland at College Park.

  • Dr. Maureen M. Black

    Corresponding author
    • Division of Pediatric Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland at Baltimore, 700 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
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    • Maureen M. Black, PhD, is a psychologist in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.


Abstract

The stress and coping of NICU nurses were examined in this study. Questionnaires were designed to measure the coping strategies used by the nurses (N = 30); the perceived helpfulness of the coping strategies; the frequency, controllability, and stressfulness of eight common NICU situations; and overall stress and satisfaction. The results suggested that nurses used a variety of problem-oriented and emotion-oriented coping strategies, which they found helpful. Common coping strategies were identified regardless of the NICU situation. Overall satisfaction was inversely related to experience and education, but unrelated to stress. The implications of these findings for managing stress and reducing burnout were discussed.

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