How Healthcare Providers Manage Intensive Care Patients’ Stressors?

  • Alham Abuatiq The university of san Diego
Keywords: Healthcare providers, Management, Patient’s stress, Intensive care units.


Purpose: This manuscript reports the qualitative findings of a mixed methods research study conducted in December.2012. This manuscript focus on describing how health care providers managed their patient’s stressors in the intensive care units (ICU).

Background: Approximately 4.4 million patients require intensive care unit (ICU) treatment annually in the United States (National Quality Measures Clearing House, 2012).No specific protocol is present to guide the health care providers in managing their ICU patients' stressors. There is a need to investigate how health care providers manage their patients stress.

Methodology:  Mixed methods research design was used. Phenomenological approach was used for the qualitative section. The sample included 70 ICU health care providers. The researcher developed a paper based tool that asked participants about their demographic data, and asked open ended questions investigated how health care providers managed their patient's stressors. Consent forms were signed voluntarily by all participants; all ethical considerations were guaranteed in this study. This study was conducted in one of the large hospitals in southern California that have 46 ICU beds.

Findings: Health care providers reported that they manage their ICU patient's stressors by implementing four themes of practice: Communication, pain management, encouraging the presence of family, and environmental control. Those were the major strategies in health care providers' management of patients' stressors. Study implications: ICU staff can manipulate the ICU environment to be less stressful; the findings of this study could guide the development of ICU patients stress management protocol.

Author Biography

Alham Abuatiq, The university of san Diego

Alham Abuatiq, PHD, MSN, RN, CCNS, is a PhD degree holder from the University of San Diego. She is critical care clinical nurse specialist who has worked for 7 years in the United States and international critical care nursing. She is also an active researcher in the field of stress perception as experienced in the critical care area. Contact information: Alham Abuatiq.PhD. Address: 8991 Grossmont Blvd, Apt 92, San Diego.CA 91941. E-mail: Tel: 714-234-9307


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