Occupational stressors in nurses working at hospitalization and critical care units

Section: Originals

How to quote

Areces Rodríguez S, García Aranda FJ. Estresores laborales en profesionales enfermeros de unidades de hospitalización y cuidados críticos. Metas Enferm sep 2017; 20(7): 56-61.


Sheila Areces Rodríguez1, Francisco Javier García Aranda1


1Enfermera/o. Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias. Oviedo (Asturias)

Contact address

Sheila Areces Rodríguez. Avda. de Lisboa, 6. 33011 Oviedo (Asturias)

Contact email: arecesrodriguez@gmail.com


Objectives: to understand the level of stress of nurses working at hospitalization and critical care units, and to identify the most frequent occupational stressors they must face.
Method: a transversal analytical study conducted in the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, between December, 2015 and September, 2016. Six hundred (600) surveys were distributed among all the nursing professionals working in the hospitalization and critical care units. The survey included sociodemographical variables and the 34-stressor Nursing Stress Scale (NSS) validated in Spanish. Statistical analysis was conducted, and there was an analysis of the associations between variables and stress levels, through Chi square test. A 95% confidence interval was maintained, as well as a 5% statistical significance (p< 0.05).
Results: the participation was of 36%, and 214 questionnaires were collected. The mean score (standard deviation) obtained in the survey was 40.45 (12.97). The most frequently identified stressors were “insufficient staff to adequately cover the work of the unit”, “observe the patient suffering” and “have to perform non- nursing work, such as administrative tasks”. A higher level of stress was observed in women, in professionals with temporary contracts, and unstable working hours. The differences were statistically significant for the three variables.
Conclusions: nursing professionals suffer a moderate level of stress. The stressors most frequently identified are associated with death and suffering, and with workload. The profile of the worker with the highest level of stress is a woman on a temporary contract and unstable working hours.


occupational stress; occupational stressors; hospitalization; critical care

Versión en Español


Estresores laborales en profesionales enfermeros de unidades de hospitalización y cuidados críticos