Mental and Emotional Health of Critical Care Nursing: A Literature Review

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Grimes, Kaleb
Medicine and Health Sciences; Nursing
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AbstractBackground: The mental and emotional health among nurses in critical care settings have been affected by stressors in the workplace. Stressors, such as death of patients, limited coping strategies, and negative interactions with other health care members can begin to wear on the nurse and can lead to deviations in mental and emotional health. Assistance with coping skills in the work place, such as resilience training, is found to help with these deviations.Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to identify literature related to the mental and emotional status of critical care nurses, as well as potential solutions to the effects of the emotional and mental strain a critical care nurse experiences. Method: A systematic review of studies related to the mental and emotional health of critical care nurses was conducted using the Academic Search, CINAHL, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO databases. The data reviewed was published between 2012 through November of 2017.Results: Ten relevant articles were included in to this review. There is a significant incidence of issues including PTSD, depression, anxiety, burnout, and exhaustion among nurses in the critical care role.Conclusion: Burnout syndrome, anxiety, depression, PTSD, general fatigue and work stress all affect the nurse negatively causing barriers to the nurse’s ability to provide quality care to the patient. Nurses will continue to deal with these problems until outlets like resilience training and social meetings are implemented into the critical care environment.