Burnout and empowerment among hemodialysis nurses in Quebec

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University of New Brunswick


While healthcare is struggling to respond to patients’ care needs as well as budgetary realities, patient care is increasingly more burdensome and demanding for nurses, resulting in increased burnout. Burnout has negative consequences for affected nurses and can jeopardize quality of care and patient safety. The empowerment of nurses is closely related to workplace wellness, since it is viewed as a positive strategy to support nursing practice and well-being at work. Research indicates that professional websites are promising vehicles to address nurse empowerment, with the recommendation that they be engaged in the design process. To date, there is no information to assess the severity of burnout or the empowerment status of hemodialysis nurses in Quebec. A quantitative online survey of 308 nurses assessed this situation and found that 38% reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, 69% reported moderate levels of structural mpowerment and 64% moderate levels of psychological empowerment. Structural and psychological empowerment were significantly related to burnout. Subsequently, a participatory action research approach that included a series of three focus group sessions with a total of seven participants and consultations with an Advisory Team generated recommendations on the types of information and elements to include in a website that addresses burnout and promotes empowerment. The results indicated that a future website should include: professional information and updates, continuing education, information on healthy lifestyle habits and networking. Overall, this research has important implications for nurses and nursing practice and research. We found high levels of burnout among hemodialysis nurses in Quebec, similar to other North American results; and that hemodialysis nurses support the development of a website to address their professional and personal needs.