Journal of Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Medicine 2015 , Vol 6, Issue 1
Stressors in the Intensive Care Unit: Perceptions of Patients and Nurses
Ayten Zaybak 1 , Kıvan Çevik 2
1Ege Üniversitesi, Hemşirelik Fakültesi, İzmir, Türkiye
2Celal Bayar Üniversitesi, Manisa Sağlık Yüksek Okulu, Hemşirelik Bölümü, Manisa, Türkiye
DOI : 10.5152/dcbybd.2015.652

Objective: This study was conducted to investigate the perceptions of stressors in the intensive care unit by patients and nurses.

Material and Methods: The research was performed in the medical and surgical  intensive care units in a university hospital. The sample consisted of 86 patients who stayed in the intensive care units for at least 24 h, who were conscious, and who had no communication difficulties and 52 nurses who were working in the same intensive care units. A Patient and Nurse Description Form and an Intensive Care Unit Sources of Environmental Stress Scale (ICUSESS) were used to gather data.

Results: The patients’ mean ICUSESS score was 80.65±18.46 and that of the nurses was 142.5±28.7. The nurses’ mean ICUSESS score was higher than that of the patients (t=15.063, p=0.00). Having an oral or nasal tube was the number one stressor reported by both patients and nurses. The other top five stressors reported by the patients were lack of privacy, being in a very hot/cold room, men and women being in the same place, and hearing other patients cry and moan, whereas those of the nurses were feeling pain, fear of death, hearing the sound of a cardiac monitor which shows that there is a problem with the heart, and hearing other patients cry and moan.

Conclusion: The level of perception of intensive care stressors by nurses was higher than that of the patients. The stressors perceived by the nurses and patients as the five most important were similar, and it can also be said that the nurses mostly named the stressors relating to diseases, whereas the patients named those concerning the physical condition of intensive care.

Keywords : Intensive care, stressor, stress, patient, nurse