Academic journal article Journal of International Women's Studies

Organizational Role Stress Indices Affecting Burnout among Nurses

Academic journal article Journal of International Women's Studies

Organizational Role Stress Indices Affecting Burnout among Nurses

Article excerpt


This was a cross sectional study, which aimed to determine the interaction between situational, factors, role stressors, hazard exposure and personal factors among 246 nurses consisting most of females (78.5%) from the different wards and units in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). The dominance of female sin the profession reinforce the prevailing notion that the caring professions such as nursing are relegated to women. This gives the study its gender perspective. Almost half (49.6%) of the respondents reported being ill due to work in the past year, and 56.1% missed work because of an illness. Correlation statistics using the Spearman's rho showed organizational role stressors was most significant in burnout among nurses in the Philippine's largest tertiary hospital. Organizational role stressors consisted of ten dimensions, namely: 1) Inter-role Distance (IRD); 2) Role Stagnation (RS); 3) Role Expectation Conflict (REC); 4) Role Erosion (RE); 5) Role Overload (RO); 6) Role Isolation (RI); 7) Personal Inadequacy (PI); 8) Self-role Distance (SRD); 9) Role Ambiguity; and 10) Resource Inadequacy (RIn). The contribution of the study is in advancing new concepts in the already existing framework of burnout, and thus, can assist nurses and hospital administration on how to control this problem.

Keywords: Burnout, Organizational Role Stressors, Hazard Exposures, Situational Factors, Nurses


Burnout has been discussed by a many authors for a number of years. More than thirty years ago, the concept of burnout has first introduced by Herbert J. Freudenberger, Christina Maslach, and Ayala Pines (Scott, 2001). The intense interest over the topic during that time was fueled by the influx of workers entering the human service professions, which included social services, education, criminal justice and health services. These workers were particularly vulnerable to burnout due to the nature of the interpersonal interactions and the organizational factors present in the helping professions (Schaufeli, Maslach, and Marek, 1993).

Dominance of Women in the Nursing Profession

The discourse on gender and its construction and representation in the workplace can be explained using a feminist perspective. Liberal feminism posits that the traditional categorizing of men to the domain of rational thinking and reason, while women to caring and emotions leads to sexual division of labor. The content of the woman's work in the household like caring for the child and housekeeping is carried over to the economic sphere where she takes on the same caring professions in nursing, entertaining in the service industries, or the clerical, secretarial or menial job in the manufacturing sector (Wollstonecraft, 1792 and 1967; Rees, 1992:25). There are obvious organizational practices that segregate work status between sexes in the new industrial structure owing from traditional perception of what is a male and female job. The caring profession such as nursing has always been traditionally assigned to women as they are more adept at performing this job. There are 'masculine' work such as engineering construction, mining, manual labour which are relegated to males (Rees, 1992:25).

In Marxist feminism, the sexual division of labor is constructed by capital, which always finds the cheapest source of labor to maximize profit. Women's work and employment is situated within capitalist constructions and becomes secondary to the broader needs of labor and capital. Class becomes the key notion in understanding sexual division of labour (Seccombe, 1974). As such, Marxist feminists propose a materialist analysis of gender and class relations (Marx in Rees, 1992). Braverman took off from this Marxist perspective and theorized on the need of capitalism to maximize labor leading to monotony and marginalization in the industrial organization (Braverman, 1974). This can explain the phenomenon of burnout experienced by the women nurses in this study. …

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