Caring for health-care workers. Experience with a psychological support program for nurses working in Internal Medicine

  • Elena Albertazzi Servizio di Psicologia Clinica (Direttore: Dr.ssa Daniela Cella), Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Maggiore della Carità, Novara, Italy.
  • Mauro Campanini SC Medicina Interna 2, Dipartimento Medico (Direttore: Dott. Mauro Campanini), Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Maggiore della Carità, Novara, Italy.
  • Giuseppina Ferrotti SC Medicina Interna 2, Dipartimento Medico (Direttore: Dott. Mauro Campanini), Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Maggiore della Carità, Novara, Italy.
  • Flavio Bobbio | flavio.bobbio@maggioreosp.novara.it SC Medicina Interna 2, Dipartimento Medico (Direttore: Dott. Mauro Campanini), Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Maggiore della Carità, Novara, Italy.
  • Giuliana Ziliotto Servizio di Psicologia Clinica (Direttore: Dr.ssa Daniela Cella), Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Maggiore della Carità, Novara, Italy.

Abstract

Introduction

Nurses working in an Internal Medicine ward must have very specific training and aptitude. Dealing with different types of patients with widely varying ages and different medical issues requires flexibility in managing emergencies and in choosing between various professional interventions, as well as strong communication skills. Because of this variety, the workload is perceived as being particularly heavy.

Materials and methods

The article describes the intervention of a psychologist in support of the nursing staff of an Internal Medicine ward. The intervention was prompted by findings of high staff turnover. The work began with an analysis of the group dynamics in the nursing team, and the psychologist's action was based on a group approach. In this way, specific problems of the group were solved through the instrument of the group itself, which became the true promoter of change.

Results

Nurses worked to recognize their professional identity and to strengthen their self-esteem, and this changed their perception of their workload. The team also became more aware of its individual and group resources. These changes decreased staff turnover and reduced arguments between the nurses themselves and between the nurses and patients’ relatives.

Discussion

The nursing team become more solid and better organized. It dealt with emotional problems and has become more receptive to changes in the way the work is organized.

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Published
2012-01-30
Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
nternal Medicine, Psychotherapeutic processes, Nursing
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How to Cite
Albertazzi, E., Campanini, M., Ferrotti, G., Bobbio, F., & Ziliotto, G. (2012). Caring for health-care workers. Experience with a psychological support program for nurses working in Internal Medicine. Italian Journal of Medicine, 6(1), 38-41. https://doi.org/10.4081/itjm.2012.38