Nurses and caregivers under extreme pressure

Eight out of ten nurses feel they are under more pressure at work than they were twelve months ago. That were the results of a research held by Care Quality Commission. “I am sick of being treated like this”, said one survey respondent.

Ten extra hours a week

The main reasons nurses and caregivers feel this much pressure, are because they are being asked to squeeze more tasks into their shifts, with no breaks and almost no days off. Nearly twenty per cent of the respondents that were questioned by the Care Quality Commission said they regularly worked between six and ten extra hours a week.


The fact that the work pressure for nurses got much worse, has multiple causes. The residents of a nursing home with demented people can be aggressive and often deal with physical disabilities. These residents need more intensive care than the employees can offer. Besides that, the government is expecting more work, but spends less money. Health care plans have to be accurately detailed and that takes a lot of time; time that the nurses would rather spend with taking care of the residents.

Emotional stress

Caregiving itself can also be emotionally draining. This combined with the many inter personal relationships that develop at work can also become a big stress factor for nurses and caregivers. Difficult or tragic situations, such as caring for and communicating with a patient who is dying, are also present emotional challenges for nurses.

Effects of work pressure

The effects of the stress nurses have to deal with these days are major, both at work as in their private lives. Clients often have to wait long before they get help and their safety is not always guaranteed; mistakes can be made with their medication; their procedure will get less hygienic and at nightshift only one person often is responsible for about eighty patients.

Another research, exploring the associated factors of burnout among five different medical professionals in a regional teaching hospital showed that, among the five medical professionals, nurses have the highest risk of facing a burnout.

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