Measurement of Burnout in Hospital Nurses
The three purposes of this study are: 1) to determine the existence of burnout in a population of hospital nurses; 2) to explore the relationship between burnout and certain specified characteristics; and 3) to determine the correlation between two tools designed to measure burnout. Three survey questionnaires were used: Jones' Staff Burnout Scale for Health Professionals (SBS-HP), the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and a questionnaire developed by the researcher. A convenience sample of approximately fifty-two percent (70) nurses from a total population of 135 registered nurses completed the questionnaires. Based on the total scores of the SBS-HP, 40% of the total number of nurses who participated in the study are experiencing either high or severe burnout. Using the subscale scores on the same tool, 38% of the subjects scored above the means in at least three of the four subscales including 16% who scored above the means in all four of the subscales. Based on the total scores of the MBI, 50% of the total number of nurses who participated in the study are experiencing either high or severe burnout. Maslach suggests that burnout is found in individuals who score high on the subscales of Emotional Exhaustion and Depersonalization and low on the· subscale of Personal Accomplishment. In this study, twenty-four percent (16) subjects fit this description. Correlations were calculated utilizing Pearson's r. The total scores from the SBS-HP and the MBI both significantly correlated ~ith three questions related to relationships with supervisor and coworkers, with one exception. Absenteeism is a significant correlate with the SBS-HP while tardiness is significant using the MBI. Correlations on the subscores were also determined. The SBS-HP is composed of four subscales: Job Dissatisfaction, Psychological and Interpersonal Tension, Physical Illness and Distress, and Unprofessional Patient Relationships. The items regarding relationships with supervisor and coworkers correlated repeatedly with these subscales. Additionally, age is negatively correlated with Job Dissatisfaction. Psychological and Interpersonal Tension correlated significantly with tardiness and alcohol use. Salary, absenteeism and foreign or American trained were significant correlates with Physical Illness and Distress. Unprofessional Patient Relationships correlated significantly with tardiness and alcohol use. The MBI consists of three subscales: Emotional Exhaustion, Personal Achievement and Depersonalization. Again the items related to one's relationships with supervisor and coworkers correlated with these subscales frequently. Educational level, salary and shift rotation correlated significantly with Personal Achievement. Depersonalization correlated significantly with tardiness. The correlation between the SBS-HP and the MBI was computed to be 0.77, which signifies considerable consensus between the two tools. This study shows that the adequacy of communication from one's supervisor, the frequency of appreciation from one's supervisor, and the amount of time spent talking with a coworker are paramount in preventing burnout. These results stress the importance of interpersonal relationships and support systems as deterrents to burnout. These findings have important implications for nursing staff management as well as the individual nurse.