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Journal of Nursing & Care

ISSN: 2167-1168

Open Access

Nature or Nurture: The Relationship between Self-Care, Personality Traits, and Burnout in Critical Care Healthcare Professionals

Abstract

Nathan Pacheco*

Burnout syndrome (BOS) is a psychological condition in which inordinate exhaustion, cynical perspectives, and a self-perception of ineffectiveness develop in response to chronic work stressors. The intrinsic stress of the critical care work environment predisposes critical care healthcare professionals to burnout. The sequelae of BOS are serious. Associated morbidities range from aches, pains, and headaches to chronic, pernicious maladies such as hyperlipidemia, coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, anxiety, and depression. Also, the presence of BOS affects healthcare professionals’ intention to leave practice. Subsequently, BOS contributes to high turnover rates, potentially costing hospitals millions. This study sought to examine the effect of personality traits and self-care on reported burnout levels in critical care healthcare professionals. Forty healthcare professionals were surveyed from two community, non-teaching hospitals in the northeastern United States. The Maslach Burnout Inventory, DSCPI-90, and Mini-International Personality Item Pool were used to measure burnout, self-care, and personality traits, respectively. Self-care was negatively correlated with burnout (r=-0.159, p=0.33). On average, professionals practiced self-care 61% of the time. The personality trait Extraversion was negatively correlated with burnout (r =-0.144, p=0.38). The personality traits Agreeableness and Neuroticism had large positive correlations (r =0.520, p =0.001) and (r=0.645, p=0.000) with the BOS dimension emotional exhaustion. Findings help identify protective, individual factors against BOS. Further research is necessary to validate the degree to which critical care professionals practice self-care and the correlations between personality, self-care, and BOS reported in this study.

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