Psychosocial Needs of Burns Nurses: A Descriptive Phenomenological Inquiry

Rachel Kornhaber, Anne Wilson

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the psychosocial needs of nurses who care for patients with severe burn injuries. Burns nurses work in an emotionally challenging and confronting environment, for which they are in need of emotional and clinical support. Exposure to such high levels of stress in this occupational environment has implications for nurses' health and psychosocial well-being. Seven burns nurses were recruited in 2009 from a severe burn injury unit in New South Wales, Australia. A qualitative phenomenological methodology was used to construct themes depicting nurses' experiences. Participants were selected through purposeful sampling, and data were collected through in-depth individual semistructured interviews using open-ended questions. Data were analyzed with Colaizzi's phenomenological method of data analysis. The psychosocial needs of burns nurses were identified and organized into five categories: peer nursing support, informal support, lack of support, multidisciplinary team collaboration, and professional support. The findings clearly demonstrate that support and unity within the workplace are fundamental factors for the psychosocial well-being of nurses caring for patients who have sustained a severe burn injury. Support for nurses in the form of regular professional or collegial debriefing sessions and utilization of employee assistance programs could ease the impact of the stressful environment in which they operate, and could influence staff retention. However, a supportive workplace culture is necessary to encourage nurses to access these services.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)286-293
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Burn Care & Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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