Levels and causes of stress amongst nurses in private hospitals: Gauteng Province
The purpose of this study was to determine the levels and causes of stress amongst nurses in private hospitals within the Gauteng Province. Specific focus was drawn to three nursing categories: professional- and staff nurses as well as nursing auxiliaries. The specific objectives were to determine the perceived levels of stress in concurrence with diverse socio-demographic characteristics, influence of non-work-related causes of stress, work-related factors contributing to stress within the work environment as well as the methods of coping utilised. The levels and factors of stress amongst the different nursing categories, including suggestive recommendations, to the organisation involved, also formed part of the objectives for this study. The study design was an analytical, cross-sectional research design involving the three specified nursing categories. From these three categories 588 respondents were selected according to a convenience or availability sample from similar wards within four predetermined hospitals of the selected private hospital group: 370 professional nurses, 157 staff nurses and 61 nursing auxiliaries. The Experience of Work and Life Circumstances Questionnaire (WLQ) were used as measuring instrument and were preceded by a section regarding socio-demographic questions. The number of complete and unspoiled questionnaires received was calculated at 116 (59.18%) professional nurses, 45 (22.96%) staff nurses and 35 (17.86%) nursing auxiliaries. Skewed or asymmetrical data were obtained and thus lead to the use of only non-parametric methods. The only possible significant correlations with the level of stress, as revealed by the analysis, involved race, in particular Black/African nurses, non-work related causes of stress, causes of stress within the work environment with specific reference to organizational functioning, task characteristics, the physical working environment itself and social matters. These results were however not statistically significant for a specific nursing category. It is suggested that further research is conducted to facilitate the design of a comprehensive model and questionnaire specifically for nurses. Further research should also include nursing students into the nursing population and investigate the level of stress of Black nurses within South Africa. It is also suggested that the organisation, that were selected for the purpose of this study, should focus on all statistical significant areas as previous mentioned for the prevention, combating and management of all causes of work-related stress.