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Open AccessArticle

Hospital Staff Report It Is Not Burnout, but a Normal Stress Reaction to an Uncongenial Work Environment: Findings from a Qualitative Study

1
School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora VIC 3086, Australia
2
WA Health, Perth WA 6004, Australia
3
School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University, Bundoora VIC 3086, Australia
4
School of Public Health, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4107; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114107
Received: 3 April 2020 / Revised: 4 June 2020 / Accepted: 4 June 2020 / Published: 9 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
(1) Background: The issue of burnout in healthcare staff is frequently discussed in relation to occupational health. In this paper, we report healthcare staff experiences of stress and burnout. (2) Methods: In total, 72 healthcare staff were interviewed from psychiatry, surgery, and emergency departments at an Australian public health service. The sample included doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrators, and front-line managers. Interview transcripts were thematically analyzed, with participant experiences interpreted against descriptors of burnout in Maslach’s Burnout Inventory and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11). (3) Results: Staff experiences closely matched the ICD-11 description of stress associated with working in an uncongenial workplace, with few reported experiences which matched the ICD-11 descriptors of burnout. (4) Conclusion: Uncongenial workplaces in public health services contribute to healthcare staff stress. While previous approaches have focused on biomedical assistance for individuals, our findings suggest that occupational health approaches to addressing health care staff stress need greater focus on the workplace as a social determinant of health. This finding is significant as organizational remedies to uncongenial stress are quite different from remedies to burnout. View Full-Text
Keywords: burnout; stress; occupational health; work burnout; stress; occupational health; work
MDPI and ACS Style

Kendrick, M.; Kendrick, K.; Morton, P.; Taylor, N.F.; Leggat, S.G. Hospital Staff Report It Is Not Burnout, but a Normal Stress Reaction to an Uncongenial Work Environment: Findings from a Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4107.

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