Stress in emergency departments: experiences of nurses and doctors

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SummaryThe effects of stressful incidents on emergency department (ED) staff can be profound. Witnessing aggression, violence or the death of patients, or participating in resuscitation, can be emotionally and physically demanding. Despite the frequency of these events, ED staff do not become immune to the stress they cause, and are often ill prepared and under supported to cope with them. This article reports on a study of nurses' and doctors' attitudes to, and experiences of, workplace stress in three EDs in Ireland, and offers some suggestions on how stress among ED staff can be reduced.Sonya Healy and Mark Tyrrell review accounts of acute stress among healthcare professionals and show how it can be anticipated, reduced and managed

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