Survey Finds More Than Half of Pediatric Cardiology Nurses Are Burned Out

More than half of nurses caring for children with cardiovascular conditions are emotionally exhausted and good working environments were linked with less burnout, according to a survey presented during ESC Congress 2020.

Annamaria Bagnasco, MD, et al., sought to examine emotional exhaustion in pediatric cardiology nurses and whether it was related to their working environment. Researchers administered a survey to nurses who worked in children's hospitals throughout Italy between Sept. 2017 and Jan. 2018.

Emotional exhaustion was measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory, and work environment was measured with the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PES-NWI). PES-NWI covers having a nurse manager or immediate supervisor who is a good manager and leader, opportunities for advancement, opportunities to participate in policy decisions, and collaboration between nurses and doctors.

Of the 2,205 nurses who responded, 85 worked in cardiology wards and intensive care units. Of these 85 nurses, 58% were emotionally exhausted with the main causes including being responsible for a high number of patients and the complexity of caring for sick children. Of note, researchers found that 30% of the nurses wanted to either work in a different hospital or change their careers entirely.

In their analysis of the relationship between emotional exhaustion and the working environment, researchers found that improving the workplace environment was associated with an 81% fall in emotional exhaustion.

"Our study shows that nurses value good leadership, being involved in decision-making, having chances to develop their career, and [team work]," said Bagnasco. "The lack of these conditions is connected to burnout, which we know from prior research could compromise patient safety."

Keywords: Workplace, Patient Safety, Leadership, Nurse Administrators, Burnout, Professional, Pediatric Nursing, Intensive Care Units, Decision Making, Italy

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