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Journal of Nursing Management. Zero to hero. Kirk et al.pdf (370.91 kB)

“Zero to Hero”: Conceptualising Time as a Moderator of Nurses’ Emotional Labour on the Front Line

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posted on 2024-03-01, 15:16 authored by Kate Kirk, Laurie Cohen, Stephen Timmons, Alison Edgley

Aim. We aimed to conceptualise how environmental, institutional, and organisational dynamics of the ED underpin and “moderate” nurses’ emotional labour. Background. Around the globe, EDs are struggling to meet rising patient demand including both UK health systems and public services in the US. In spite of these challenges and the intense and distinctive nature of EDs, an exploration of emotional labour is largely missing from current understanding. This is important, in part because emotional labour is established as an indicator of wellbeing including intention to leave, burnout, and compassion fatigue. We understand little of how the environment moderates emotional labour, and our study addressed this problem in the ED. Understanding the moderators of emotional labour, organisational perspective also offers theoretical development. Methods. Ethnography enabled immersion in the ED setting, gathering the lived experiences and narratives of the ED nursing team. This included 200 hours of observation at one District General Hospital and one Major Trauma Centre in the English NHS with 35 semistructured concurrent formal interviews. Results/Conclusions. The ED calls for an extensive spectrum of emotional labour from staff, influenced and moderated by the restrictions on resources, particularly time. We argue that, despite the often short nature of interactions undertaken in ED, the labour required is effortful and gruelling for staff. Understanding the relevance of environmental elements, namely, time, to the emotional labour offers tangible opportunities for improvement. These new understandings can underpin solutions to negative consequences of this work. Suggested measures and interventions to alleviate the impact of emotional labour should be prioritised by policy makers and those tasked with managing, designing, and leading the delivery of care in ED. Implications for Profession and/or Patient Care. The more “sped up” a service is required to be, the higher the likelihood of emotional labour is. In light of the challenges facing healthcare services around the world and the increased throughput through services, particularly in ED, this is important. This is also critical when considering that there are well-established relationships between emotional labour and wellbeing in nursing. Understanding the relevance of the healthcare environment to staff members’ experiences of emotional labour is critical in designing solutions which counterbalance the potentially negative consequences of this work.

Funding

Health Education England (HEE)/NIHR

History

Citation

Journal of Nursing Management,Volume 2023, Article ID 9383167

Author affiliation

Population Health Sciences

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Journal of Nursing Management

Volume

2023

Publisher

Hindawi Limited

issn

0966-0429

eissn

1365-2834

Acceptance date

2023-07-31

Copyright date

2023

Available date

2024-03-01

Editors

Santos JL

Language

en

Deposited by

Dr Kate Kirk

Deposit date

2024-02-12

Data Access Statement

The data used to support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to containing information that could compromise the privacy of research participants.

Rights Retention Statement

  • No

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