Understanding nurses' psychosomatic complications that relate to the practice of nursing


Stefanos Mantzoukas, Archimandriou 60, 45221 Ioannina, Greece. Email: smantzoukas@hotmail.com


The literature acknowledges that nursing practice can create physical and emotional stresses for its practitioners. This study aimed to acquire an in-depth understanding of being a nurse in the Greek National Health System. Interpretive phenomenology was used and Van Manen's method of analysis was implemented. Conversational interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of nine nurses employed at the University Hospital of Ioannina in Greece. The findings produced three essential themes: a dissonance between the images and reality of nursing, emotional burnout, and psychosomatic entanglement. The dissonance between the idealization of nursing and the reality of nursing, along with the emotional crisis created by daily practice, constituted the two fundamental factors for developing psychosomatic complications. These impacted negatively on the participants' personal and professional well-being. Psychosomatic complications can be prevented by clearly delineating roles, enabling collaboration between education and practice, developing mentorship programs, and using reflection in practice.