What are the perceptions of nurses regarding the causes of stress in the Intensive Care Unit and what can serve as possible solutions?

Literature Review
Given below is a research topic for literature review.
Introduction
Nursing is one of the most important professions in the health care industry because it involves directly caring for the people when it comes to their health and comfort. Becoming a registered nurse is not an easy process and the work load during nursing school is just a small taste of the work load that will be required once in the medical field. Intensive care unit (ICU) is one of the clinical settings where nurses perform complex therapies that require extremely delicate nursing interventions. It is through the nature of the intensive care unit that nurses are required to perform enormous and day long tasks. Though nursing is a rewarding position, the complex nature of the work nurses do in the ICU makes them stressed or feel burned out. How do nurses deal with the stress in their nursing profession? It is true that many nurses deal with stress at some point of their work time and numerous health issues arise because of stress. Therefore, this study is a brief attempt to trace the causes of stress among ICU nurses and suggest a few solutions to the problem.
The Problem Statement
Stress can be defined as a state of mental/emotional strain, or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances (Linda, 2013). The Intensive Care Unit is a clinical area where the nurses’ responsibilities and stress levels are highest. Again, stress is a state and not an illness. It is a state of emotional, physical, or mental exhaustion. Stress is common amongst nurses that face demanding workloads that require patience, concentration, and long hours of work without relief. Thus, it is because of the nature of their work that stress is a major problem that ICU nurses face in their career. Furthermore, the high levels of stress have a negative effect on the physical and psychological health of nurses (Milutinovic, et al, 2012).

Causes of the Problem
The topic that will be discussed in this session is what contributes to stress among the nurses who work in the Intensive Care Unit. The causes are: (1) Nursing shortage or understaffing is considered to be one of the reasons of stress in ICU nurses. (2) The constant introduction of new technologies in the clinical settings makes ICU nurses stressful. (3) Lack of managerial support. (4) Lack of coworker support contributes further increase to stress or burnout among ICU nurses. (5) Another cause is the involvement in the ethical decision making. (6) Dealing with or comforting the family members of the critically ill patients makes nurses stressful. (7) Taking care of critically ill patients make nurses stressful because they work in a stressful environment where the patients are critical, mortality rates are high, and nurses have to put in highly physical and emotional efforts.
Research Question
What are the perceptions of nurses regarding the causes of stress in the Intensive Care Unit and what can serve as possible solutions?
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Focusing on the above seven causes of stress and their solutions please write a Literature Review of professional sources by doing the following:
1. Outline research for best practices for the topic.
2. Summarize the professional literature relevant to the chosen topic.
3. Provide a conclusion that interprets how the literature applies to the problem being investigated.
*Please include at least 18 peer reviewed professional references, publication dates within the past five years (2009 and above) in APA format.


 

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