New research at Michigan State University and Portland State University has discovered that when there’s disproportionality in support amid nurses while at work, tempers surge and hence the danger of injuries may rise.
“Beyond the physical demands of the job, social factors can pose additional risks for nurses to experience muscle and joint pain in the shoulders, arms, hands and lower back,” stated Chu-Hsiang (Daisy) Chang, an associate professor of psychology at MSU. “These types of musculoskeletal disorders often are worsened by feelings of anger.”
Chang directed the research along with Liu-Qin Yang, an associate professor of industrial-organizational psychology at Portland State University and Taylor Lauricella, MSU doctoral student.
Social influences can contain observations regarding how much support is an individual giving their co-workers and whether they are observing that same support directed at them. Kinds of support may include displaying compassion and concern, offering advice, guidance, etc.
“The imbalance occurs when nurses believe that the support they’ve received is less than what they’ve given to their co-workers,” Yang stated. “This imbalance results in nurses being angry at their peers and overall work situation.”
Nursing is among the worst professions when it comes to work-associated injuries owing to the physical demands during extended shifts.
The research questioned more than 400 nurses to further understand the impacts of psychological features in a work setting had on bodily health. It was seen that when nurses believed they must obtain the same support consistently, tempers surged if a disparity occurred.
“If the norm is that everyone gets the same amount of support, then an individual nurse who experiences an imbalance might wonder why she’s being singled out,” Yang told. “She’ll feel worse and angrier.”
In cases where variances in support are the belief, inferior levels of rage were reported.
“Hospitals need to implement strategies and interventions that are designed to improve the social environment for nurses,” stated Chang. “Doing so may not only improve psychological well-being and reduce their stress, but also promote their physical health.”
Chang said that hospitals use various solutions as a result of injuries, but they put more emphasis on physical job tasks to remove risk.
“Ensuring fair treatment or distribution of workload in a social context could be a good strategy that can reduce feelings of anger and ultimately, have an indirect effect on reducing injury complaints, too,” Chang told.