Challenges and coping mechanisms of nurses working in intensive units of selected hospitals in addis ababa-ethiopia

Amare Tarekegn, Alemneh Kabeta, Sailaja Busi and Agezegn Asegid

Background: Intensive care unit (ICU) is where by critically and terminally ill patients are admitted and strictly followed. As every patient, nurse and setup where to carry are different providing the right nursing care for critically ill patients needs assessing the ICU from different angles including skill, knowledge and attitude of nursing staff, complexity of patient’s needs, the physical environment where to care and difficulties that ICU staffs faces. This study aimed to assess challenges and coping mechanisms of nurses working in intensive care units of selected hospitals in AddisAbaba-Ethiopia.

Methods: Institution based cross-sectional study was implemented. All nurses (N=207) working in intensive care units of 16 hospitals in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia were included. Data was collected by using a self administered structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data.  

Result: Majority of the respondents were females (87.4 %), in the age group of 20-30 years (63.3%) and diploma nurses (57.5 %). Communication problem, resistance from patient and patient relatives and inadequate information about patient condition from physicians were the challenges faced by Nurses bothin governmental and nongovernmental hospitals.  Lack of in-service training, no choice based assignment in ICU, non cooperative hospital management, inadequate material supply and absence of authority to perform independent nursing interventions were also constraints reported by the ICU nurses. Among the study population most of the nurses 114 (62.3%) had conflicts with physicians followed conflict with head nurses accounts for 17.5%.

Conclusion: This study revealed that nurses in ICU face multiple intrapersonal, interpersonal and organizational challenges and use a number of coping mechanisms which may have both positive and negative impact on the service. Based on this study finding continuous and regular assessment of ICU unit is recommended to identify and solve challenges in ICU for betterment of service.

Download PDF: