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Nurses sought for study on psychosocial risk factors and burnout

By Dermot - 12th Jan 2017

All registered general nurses are invited to participate in the online study. The findings will inform future policies and interventions for trainee and qualified nursing staff in Ireland.

This study is being carried out by Ms Natasha Fitzgerald-Yau, a psychologist in clinical training at the School of Psychology, under the academic supervision of Dr Jonathan Egan, Deputy Director of the university’s Doctorate Programme in Psychological Science and under Dr Andrew Hunter in Nursing and Midwifery.

Ms Fitzgerald-Yau is interested in the effect of burnout and stress on people’s capacity to mentalise. “Mentalising means being aware of what is going on in our own minds – that is our thoughts, feelings, intentions, etc, and in other people’s minds. It is the attachment processes between staff and patients that helps to foster and maintain the capacity to mentalise. When staff are feeling over-pressurised, this attachment relationship can become disrupted or fail to develop. If the ability to mentalise gets compromised then this may explain why both patients and staff alike report feeling objectified within the healthcare system.”

A recent survey of nursing staff across 200 hospitals in Belgium, England, Finland, Ireland, Spain, and Switzerland found that nearly a third showed signs of burnout and a similar proportion were dissatisfied with their job.

The online survey link is

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