Comparison of Nurses in Two Different Cultures: Who Experiences More Burnout

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Abstract

Purpose

Although burnout occurs in almost all occupational groups, it is mostly observed in professions requiring face-to-face relationships with people, especially among health care workers who deal constantly with problems and expectations of people.

Design

The objective of this study was to determine the burnout levels of nurses working in surgical clinics in two countries.

Methods

This descriptive study was conducted between June and September 2013. The study's population consisted of 179 nurses working in the surgical clinics of Ataturk University Research Hospital and Iran Urmiyili Shahidmotahari University Hospital. A questionnaire involving descriptive characteristics of nurses and the Maslach Burnout Inventory were used to collect the data.

Findings

Nurses working in Turkey had higher mean scores of “emotional exhaustion” and “depersonalization,” and a higher mean composite score. Nurses working in Iran had higher mean scores of the subscale “personal accomplishment.” Although there was a statistically significant difference between both countries in terms of emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment (P < .05), there was no statistically significant difference between them in terms of mean score of depersonalization and total mean composite score of the inventory (P > .05).

Conclusions

Nurses working in Turkey experienced more emotional exhaustion and less personal accomplishment compared with nurses working in Iran. In line with this result, improvements in their work environment and conditions are recommended to provide organizational support by fostering job satisfaction, preventing exhaustion by arranging shifts based on workload, and offering psychological counseling services to employees.

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