An Exploration of Work Related Mental Health Issues Experienced by Rural Emergency Nurses
Dekeseredy, Patricia Lynn
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Nurses working in rural emergency departments (ED) are exposed to trauma, pain, and suffering on a daily basis. They care for members of their community, including friends and neighbours in an unpredictable environment with limited resources. These contextual factors not only have a negative impact on provision of quality patient care, but also create very stressful work environment putting these ED nurses at high risk for experiencing emotional trauma. This exploratory, qualitative descriptive study used semi-structured interviews to investigate the experiences of rural emergency nurses. A qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the interviews. Findings describe the impact their work experiences had on the nurses mental health and illuminate factors that could contribute to the development of compassion fatigue, burnout and PTSD. Findings will be used to inform future research into early recognition and resiliency programs to mitigate the effects of occupational mental health issues for rural emergency nurses.