Combating Oncology Nurse Burnout: An Evidence-Based Program to Nurture Resilience
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Document Projects
Caring for complex and terminally ill oncology patients is physically and emotionally demanding. This literature documents a high prevalence of burnout in oncology nurses. Burnout negatively affects the nurse, patient outcomes, and healthcare costs. However, resiliency can mitigate burnout. Resiliency interventions have been shown to improve nurses' physical and emotional wellbeing. This evidence-based program implementation aimed to increase oncology nurses' resilience and decrease the symptoms of burnout. At a Midwest National Cancer Institute-designated medical center, 68 oncology nurses attended a two-hour resiliency program including didactic, experiential, and reflective learning opportunities. The class content included defining and describing burnout and engaging in activities to identify individualized practices for self-care, stress-reduction, peer support, and mindfulness. Participants developed a personalized wellness plan to guide their ongoing engagement in practicing resiliency skills. An online module provided additional organizational resources. The Professional Quality of Life Survey and Connor Davidson Resiliency Scale© provided baseline, one month, and three months post-intervention measurements. Paired-sample t-tests were performed for each program outcome using a confidence interval of 95 %. The t-tests were statically significant at baseline to one month, baseline to three months, and one month to three months for resilience (p=<.001, p=<.001, p=.001) and for burnout (p=<.001, p=<.001, p=.004). This evidence-based practice project suggests that a short program intervention with structured follow-up can improve resilience and decrease burnout. Oncology nurses participating in resiliency-building activities may improve their physical and emotional well-being and decrease their risk of burnout.
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