Fostering Psychosocial Wellness in Oncology Nurses: Addressing Burnout and Social Support in the Workplace

Jacqueline Medland

Josie Howard-Ruben

Elizabeth Whitaker

ONF 2004, 31(1), 47-54. DOI: 10.1188/04.ONF.47-54

Purpose/Objectives: To identify psychosocial wellness and the avoidance of burnout as key priorities for the retention of oncology nurses and to describe a program designed for a specific setting to enhance the psychosocial wellness and coping skills of oncology nurses.

Data Sources: Published research, books, and journal articles; theory; practice; and personal experience.

Data Synthesis: Oncology nurses benefit from programs designed to bolster the development of coping skills to reduce stress, foster supportive relationships in the workplace, facilitate work-related grief and bereavement, and reduce burnout.

Conclusions: Fostering psychosocial wellness in the workplace potentially can increase oncology nurse retention.

Implications for Nursing: A renewed recognition of the stressful nature of oncology nursing should give rise to programs that address the psychological well-being of oncology nurses. Oncology nursing leadership, recognizing the potential for stress and burnout inherent in this profession, should research and develop programs to enhance staff coping skills and mutual support.

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