Experiences of Staying Healthy in Relationally Demanding Jobs: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study of Work-Engaged Nurses in the Hospital

DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2015.55047   PDF   HTML   XML   2,356 Downloads   3,317 Views   Citations

Abstract

Background: Based on the experience of hospital nurses, the aim of this study is to explore the phenomenon of how work-engaged nurses stay healthy in relationally demanding jobs involving very sick and/or dying patients. Method: In-depth interviews were conducted with ten work-engaged nurses employed at the main hospital in one region in Norway. The interviews were interpreted using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis method (IPA). Results: The results indicate the importance of using the personal resources: authenticity and a sense of humour for staying healthy. The nurses’ authenticity, in the sense of having a strong sense of ownership towards their personal life experiences, and a sense of having a meaningful life in line with their own values and interests, was an important element when they considered their own health to be good in spite of repetitive strain injuries and perceived stress. These personal resources seem to be positively related to their well-being and work engagement, which serves as an argument for including them among other personal resources, often conceptualized in terms of Psychological Capital (PsyCap). The results also showed that the nurses worked actively and intentionally with conditions that could contribute to safeguarding their own health. Conclusion: The results indicated the importance of stimulating the nurses’ area of knowledge about caring for themselves in order to enable them to maintain good physical and mental health. A focus on self-care should be part of the agenda as early as during nursing education.

Share and Cite:

Bjarnadottir, A. and Vik, K. (2015) Experiences of Staying Healthy in Relationally Demanding Jobs: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study of Work-Engaged Nurses in the Hospital. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 437-450. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.55047.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

[1] Peters, L., et al. (2012) Is Work Stress in Palliative Care Nurses a Cause for Concern? A Literature Review. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 18, 561-567.
http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/ijpn.2012.18.11.561
[2] Bjarnadottir, A. (2011) Work Engagement among Nurses in Relationally Demanding Jobs in the Hospital Sector. Vård i Norden, 31, 30-34.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/010740831103100307
[3] Seligman, M.E. and Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000) Positive Psychology: An Introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.5
[4] Schaufeli, W.B., et al. (2002) The Measurement of Engagement and Burnout: A Two Sample Confirmatory Factor Analytic Approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3, 71-92.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1015630930326
[5] Diener, E., Oishi, S. and Lucas, R.E. (2009) Subjective Well-Being: The Science of Happiness and Life Satisfaction, in Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. Oxford University Press, New York, 187-194.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195187243.013.0017
[6] Keyes, C.L.M. (1998) Social Well-Being. Social Psychology Quarterly, 61, 121-140.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2787065
[7] Ryff, C.D. (1989) Beyond Ponce de Leon and Life Satisfaction: New Directions in Quest of Successful Ageing. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 12, 35-55.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/016502548901200102
[8] Ryff, C.D. (2012) Existential Well-Being and Health, in the Human Quest for Meaning: Theories, Research, and Applications. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, New York, 233-247.
[9] Llorens, S., et al. (2007) Does a Positive Gain Spiral of Resources, Efficacy Beliefs and Engagement Exist? Computers in Human Behavior, 23, 825-841.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2004.11.012
[10] Hakanen, J.J., Bakker, A.B. and Schaufeli, W.B. (2006) Burnout and Work Engagement among Teachers. Journal of School Psychology, 43, 495-513.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2005.11.001
[11] Hallberg, U.E. and Schaufeli, W.B. (2006) “Same Same” but Different? Can Work Engagement Be Discriminated from Job Involvement and Organizational Commitment? European Psychologist, 11, 119-127.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1016-9040.11.2.119
[12] Innstrand, S.T., Langballe, E.M. and Falkum, E. (2012) A Longitudinal Study of the Relationship between Work Engagement and Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression. Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 28, 1-10.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smi.1395
[13] Bakker, A.B., Schaufeli, W.B., Leiter, M.P. and Taris, T.W. (2008) Work Engagement: An Emerging Concept in Occupational Health Psychology. Work & Stress, 22, 187-200.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02678370802393649
[14] Schaufeli, W.B. and Taris, T. (2013) The Job Demands-Resources Model: A Critical Review. Gedrag & Organisatie, 26, 182-204.
[15] Bakker, A.B. and Demerouti, E. (2007) The Job Demands-Resources Model: State of the Art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22, 309-328.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02683940710733115
[16] Hobfoll, S.E., Johnson, R.J., Ennis, N. and Jackson, A.P. (2003) Resource Loss, Resource Gain, and Emotional Outcomes among Inner City Women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 632-643.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.84.3.632
[17] Luthans, F., Youssef, C.M. and Avolio, B.J. (2006) Psychological Capital: Developing the Human Competitive Edge. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[18] Lorente Prieto, L., Salanova Soria, M., Martínez Martínez, I. and Schaufeli, W. (2008) Extension of the Job Demands-Resources Model in the Prediction of Burnout and Engagement among Teachers over Time. Psicothema, 20, 354-360.
[19] Xanthopoulou, D., Bakker, A.B., Demerouti, E. and Schaufeli, W.B. (2009) Work Engagement and Financial Returns: A Diary Study on the Role of Job and Personal Resources. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82, 183-200.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/096317908X285633
[20] Avey, J.B., Luthans, F. and Jensen, S.M. (2009) Psychological Capital: A Positive Resource for Combating Employee Stress and Turnover. Human Resource Management, 48, 677-693.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hrm.20294
[21] Reis, D., Hoppe, A. and Schröder, A. (2015) Reciprocal Relationships between Resources, Work and Study Engagement, and Mental Health: Evidence for Gain Cycles. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 24, 59-75.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2013.834891
[22] Avey, J.B., Luthans, F., Smith, R.M. and Palmer, N.F. (2010) Impact of Positive Psychological Capital on Employee Well-Being over Time. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 15, 17-28.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0016998
[23] Tomic, M. and Tomic, E. (2011) Existential Fulfillment, Workload and Work Engagement among Nurses. Journal of Research in Nursing, 16, 468-479.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1744987110383353
[24] Vinje, H.F. and Mittelmark, M.B. (2006) Deflecting the Path to Burn-Out among Community Health Nurses: How the Effective Practice of Self-Tuning Renews Job Engagement. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 8, 36-47.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14623730.2006.9721750
[25] Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (2000) Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage, Thousand Oaks.
[26] Smith, J.A. and Osborn, M. (2008) Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. In: Smith, J.A., Ed., Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods, 2nd Edition, Sage, London.
[27] Smith, J.A. and Osborn, M. (2008) Interpretative Phenemenological Analysis. In: Smith, J.A., Ed., Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods, Sage, London, 53-80.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9780470776278.ch10
[28] Smith, J.A. and Osborn, M. (2004) Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. In: Breakwell, G.M., Ed., Doing Social Psychology Research, Blackwell Publishing, Malden, 229-254.
[29] Smith, J.A. and Dunworth, F. (2003) Qualitative Methodology. In: Valsiner, J., Ed., Handbook of Development Psychology, Sage, London, 603-621.
[30] Kvale, S. (1996) Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. Sage, Thousand Oaks.
[31] Patton, M.Q. (2002) Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods. 3rd Edition, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, 427 s.
[32] Harter, S. (2002) Authenticity. In: Snyder, C.R. and Lopez, S.J., Eds., Handbook of Positive Psychology, Oxford University Press, New York, 382-394.
[33] Avolio, B.J. and Walumbwa, F.O. (2006) Authentic Leadership: Moving HR Leaders to a Higher Level. In: Martocchio, J., Ed., Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 25, Elsevier Science/JAI Press, New York, 273-304.
[34] Bjarnadottir, A. and Lillefjell, M. (2015) Critical Factors in Managing Relationally Demanding Jobs, in Care for Very Ill and/or Dying Patients: A Phenomenological Study among Public Hospital Nurses. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 58-67.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojn.2015.51007
[35] Ryan, R.M. and Deci, E.L. (2000) Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68
[36] Ryan, R.M. and Deci, E.L. (2000) Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54-67.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/ceps.1999.1020
[37] Simon, S.T., Ramsenthaler, C., Bausewein, C., Krischke, N. and Geiss, G. (2009) Core Attitudes of Professionals in Palliative Care: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 15, 405-411.
http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/ijpn.2009.15.8.43800
[38] Holm, A.L. and Severinsson, E. (2011) A Hermeneutic Approach to the Characteristics of Mental Health Nursing Practice. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 18, 843-850.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2850.2011.01736.x
[39] Seno, V.L. (2010) Being-With Dying: Authenticity in End-of-Life Encounters. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 27, 377-386.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049909109359628
[40] Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M. (1985) Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior: Perspectives in Social Psychology. Plenum, New York.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-2271-7
[41] Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M. (2000) The “What” and “Why” of Goal Pursuits: Human Needs and the Self-Determination of Behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227-268.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01
[42] Maddux, J.E. (2009) Self-Efficacy: The Power of Believing You Can. In: Lopez, S.J. and Snyder, C.R., Eds., Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, Oxford University Press, New York, 335-343.
[43] Antonovsky, A. and Lev, A. (2000) Helbredets mysterium: At tåle stress og forblive rask. Hans Reitzels Forlag, København, 231 s.
[44] Bakibinga, P., Vinje, H.F. and Mittelmark, M.B. (2012) Self-Tuning for Job Engagement: Ugandan Nurses’ Self-Care Strategies in Coping with Work Stress. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 14, 3-12.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14623730.2012.682754
[45] Gustafsson, G. and Strandberg, G. (2009) Meanings of Staying Healthy in a Context Where Others Developed Burnout-Phenomenological-Hermeneutic Interpretation of Healthcare Personnel’s Narratives. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 23, 456-464.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6712.2008.00641.x
[46] Pressman, S.D. and Cohen, S. (2005) Does Positive Affect Influence Health? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 925-971.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.925
[47] Steinvil, A., Shirom, A., Melamed, S., Toker, S., Justo, D., Saar, N., et al. (2008) Relation of Educational Level to Inflammation-Sensitive Biomarker Level. American Journal of Cardiology, 102, 1034-1039.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.05.055
[48] Antonovsky, A. (1979) Health, Stress, and Coping. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
[49] Bandura, A. (1997) Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. Freeman, New York.
[50] Svebak, S. (1997) Does a Good Laughter Prolong Life? Tidsskrift for den Norske Laegeforening, 117, 4360-4361.
[51] Svebak, S. (2005) Does Humor Benefit Health and Well-Being? Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening, 42, 909-912.
[52] Nevo, O., Aharonson, H. and Klingman, A. (1998) The Development and Evaluation of a Systematic Program for Improving Sense of Humor. In: Willibald, R., Ed., The Sense of Humor: Explorations of a Personality Characteristic, Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, 385-404.
[53] Pask, E.J. (2005) Self-Sacrifice, Self-Transcendence and Nurses’ Professional Self. Nursing Philosophy, 6, 247-254.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-769X.2005.00215.x

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.