• aseptic practice;
  • clinical research;
  • nursing;
  • occupational stress;
  • operation;
  • stimulated recall interview;
  • surgery

Aims and objectives.  This paper aims to explore aseptic practice-related stress in surgery. The objectives are to define stress-related factors and the means to reduce the stress.

Background.  Occupational stress is related to personal characteristics: job satisfaction and physiological and psychological well-being. The stress symptoms are often classified as part of a negative mood. Nurses have expressed stress when deadening their conscience to external demands with co-workers or internal working role-related demands. Surgery nurses expect fair division of work and compliance with rules. The hospital management, technology and the medical profession, instead of the needs of the patient, are recognised as a danger in the development of surgery nurses’ role.

Design.  A qualitative stimulated recall interview was performed in the surgery of the university hospital.

Methods.  Thirty-one operations were videotaped, and 31 nurses interviewed during videotape stimulation. The 1306 text pages were transcripted and analysed by a qualitative membership categorisation device analysis.

Results.  The analysis revealed aseptic practice-related stress which constructed a sixteen level category. The membership categorisation identified connections between qualitatively attributed personnel and seven stress factors: working experience; time; equipment; person; patient; working morals and power. Final analysis revealed nurses reducing aseptic practice-related stress by safe, peaceful, competent and relative means.

Conclusions.  The aseptic practice-related stress varied from positive motivating feelings to exhaustion. The stress was experienced by medical and nursing co-workers and reduced by means which varied according to expertise and co-workers.

Relevance to clinical practice.  This study showed needs for both the shared multiprofessional documentation of aseptic practice and better adherence to recommendations. Constructive means are useful when solving conflicts and replacing person-related aseptic practice with evidence-based. They may support nurses’ professional growth, reduce their stress and increase the surgical patient’s safety.