Nav: Home

When tempers flare, nurses' injuries could rise

March 26, 2019

EAST LANSING, Mich. - A new study by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University has found that when there's an imbalance in support among nurses at work, tempers flare and risk of injuries can go up.

"Beyond the physical demands of the job, social factors can pose additional risks for nurses to experience muscle and joint pain in the shoulders, arms, hands and lower back," said Chu-Hsiang (Daisy) Chang, associate professor of psychology at MSU. "These types of musculoskeletal disorders often are worsened by feelings of anger."

Chang led the study, published in the journal Work and Occupations, with Liu-Qin Yang, associate professor of industrial-organizational psychology at Portland State University, and MSU doctoral student Taylor Lauricella.

Social factors can include perceptions around how much support someone is giving their co-workers and whether they perceive that same support is available to them. Types of support can come in many forms, including showing empathy and concern, offering advice, guidance and suggestions, or providing a helping hand.

"The imbalance occurs when nurses believe that the support they've received is less than what they've given to their co-workers," Yang said. "This imbalance results in nurses being angry at their peers and overall work situation."

Nursing often ranks among the worst occupations in terms of work-related injuries because of the physical demands during long,12-hour shifts.

The study surveyed more than 400 nurses in two hospitals from 29 different units to further explore the effect psychological factors in a work environment had on physical health. It found that when nurses believed they should receive the same amount of support uniformly, tempers rose if an imbalance occurred.

"If the norm is that everyone gets the same amount of support, then an individual nurse who experiences an imbalance might wonder why she's being singled out," Yang said. "She'll feel worse and angrier."

In instances where differences in support is the expectation, then lower levels of anger were reported.

Yang said that in this scenario, individual nurses are less sensitive to an imbalance of support at the personal level.

"Hospitals need to implement strategies and interventions that are designed to improve the social environment for nurses," Chang said. "Doing so may not only improve psychological well-being and reduce their stress, but also promote their physical health."

According to Chang, hospitals use a variety of solutions to address injuries, but they focus more on physical job tasks to eliminate risk, such as using lift devices to help transfer patients from a bed to a wheelchair.

"Ensuring fair treatment or distribution of workload in a social context could be a good strategy that can reduce feelings of anger and ultimately, have an indirect effect on reducing injury complaints, too," Chang said.
-end-
(Note for media: Please include a link to the original paper in online coverage: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0730888419826622)

Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Michigan State University

Related Nurses Articles:

Social networking sites affect nurses' performance
Addiction to social networking sites reduces nurses' performance and affects their ability to concentrate on assigned tasks, according to a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Are american nurses prepared for a catastrophe? New study says perhaps not
On average, American colleges and universities with nursing programs offer about one hour of instruction in handling catastrophic situations such as nuclear events, pandemics, or water contamination crises, according to two recent studies coauthored by a nursing professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Gender bias continues in recognition of physicians and nurses
A new study has shown that patients are significantly more likely to correctly identify male physicians and female nurses, demonstrating continuing gender bias in the health care environment.
How nurses bring clarity to the nature of social change
History provides an enhanced understanding of the factors that inform social policy.
When tempers flare, nurses' injuries could rise
A new study by researchers at Michigan State University and Portland State University has found that when there's an imbalance in support among nurses at work, tempers flare and risk of injuries can go up.
New nurses work overtime, long shifts, and sometimes a second job
New nurses are predominantly working 12-hour shifts and nearly half work overtime, trends that have remained relatively stable over the past decade, finds a new study by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
Study among first to describe work environments for nurses in Mexico
A study of nurses in Mexico identifies both positive and problematic areas of their work environments, with age, experience, and education level influencing nurses' perceptions of their workplaces.
New nurses with bachelor's degrees feel better prepared than nurses with associate degrees
Nurses with bachelor's degrees report being very prepared in more quality and safety measures than do their peers with associate degrees, finds a new study by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
Study examines aspects of conscientious objection among nurses
One-on-one interviews with eight nurses in Ontario revealed that nurses making conscientious objections to ethically relevant policies lack concrete supports and need protection in healthcare practice settings.
Researchers find no progress in media representation of nurses over last 20 years
A replication of the 1997 ''Woodhull Study on Nursing and the Media'' led by the George Washington University School of Nursing found nurses continue to be underrepresented as sources in heath news stories despite their increasing levels of education and expertise.
More Nurses News and Nurses Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#542 Climate Doomsday
Have you heard? Climate change. We did it. And it's bad. It's going to be worse. We are already suffering the effects of it in many ways. How should we TALK about the dangers we are facing, though? Should we get people good and scared? Or give them hope? Or both? Host Bethany Brookshire talks with David Wallace-Wells and Sheril Kirschenbaum to find out. This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News. Related links: Why Climate Disasters Might Not Boost Public Engagement on Climate Change on The New York Times by Andrew Revkin The other kind...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab