Stress, Burnout, and Coping Mechanisms in Health Professionals Working in Pediatric Oncology
Burnout syndrome is a destructive repercussion of experiencing various chronic stressors and is prevalent among health care professionals. It changes driven, ambitious, hardworking people into depressed, apathetic, error-prone individuals. The purpose of this qualitative Senior Honors Project is to identify potential stressors and burnout of physicians and nurses working in Pediatric Oncology at a regional tertiary hospital in the southern United States, and what coping mechanisms individuals use to help avoid or ameliorate this syndrome. Study Design and Methods: This study is ongoing. There is a goal sample of 5-10 subjects. The participants of this qualitative study are gathered using the snowballing effect. Each participant is interviewed and asked 11 open-ended questions designed by the research team. Results: The results are based on the responses by two participants, with an average of 39.5 years of experience. Inabilities to balance family and work life, along with the death of patients are real predictors of stress experienced in the Pediatric Oncology work environment. Lack of psychological intervention exacerbates these predictors. Spirituality, religion, remarkable recoveries, and psychological intervention are all powerful coping mechanisms practiced by health care professionals. The findings of this study can be invaluable in identifying and avoiding key stressors that lead to burnout syndrome.
Greer, Annette. Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies, Brody School of Medicine