Need for recovery amongst nursing staff in a UK Emergency Department: Results from a cross- sectional survey

Laura Cottey2, Dr Blair Graham1,2, Jos Latour1, Mark Mills1, Jason E Smith2
1University of Plymouth,2University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Background: Emergency Nurses (ENs) are at risk of work-related fatigue which impairs patient safety and staff well-being. ENs should be able to physically and mentally recover between shifts to reduce fatigue.
Aim: To identify work-related fatigue and recovery amongst ENs and provide comparison with other staff groups.
Methods: Staff working in a large ED (n=209) were invited to complete an online survey in January 2018. The ‘need for recovery’ scale (NFRS) was used assessing how work demands affect inter-shift recovery. Scoring scale is 0-100. The instrument was validated within general Dutch population revealing an average NFRS score of 38. Among general nurses, NFRS of 36.4 (Brazil) and 39.4 (Netherlands) are reported.
Results: Response rate was 85.1% (n=178). ENs formed 39.3% of respondents (n=70); physicians (32%; n=57); support staff (29%; n=51). The average NFRS for all staff groups was 70; amongst ENs was 76.2. ENs were more likely to be female compared to other groups (85% vs. 62%) but were otherwise comparable with regard to mean age (36.1y vs. 36.6y), caring roles outside of work (38.2% vs. 37.6%), presence of long-term health problems (13.2% vs. 11.7%) and general satisfaction with current health status (56% vs. 54.5%). As a group, ENs more frequently reported feeling burned out than others (50% vs.36.7%), perceived future risk of burnout (80.8% vs. 68.6%) and lower satisfaction with work-life balance (29.8% vs. 41%). NFRS was elevated in those perceiving burnout (83.9 vs. 58.7; p=<0.01), future risk of burnout (67.9 vs. 49.6; p=<0.01), and dissatisfaction with work-life balance (66.4 vs. 58.5; p=<0.01).
Conclusion: Perceptions of burnout and dissatisfaction with work-life balance seem very prevalent amongst ENs and are associated with increased need for recovery. There is a need to better understand relevant factors intrinsic to the current role of ENs and their well- being.  (Word count: 296. No Conflict of Interest to Declare)