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Title: Behavioural responses of Intensivists to stressors in Intensive Care.
Austin Authors: Dennis, D;van Heerden, P V;Khanna, Rahul ;Knott, Cameron I 
Affiliation: Intensive Care
Department of Intensive Care and Physiotherapy Department, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth 6009, Western Australia, Australia
Department of Psychiatry, Phoenix Australia, University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Victoria, Australia
Department of Intensive Care, Bendigo Health, Bendigo 3550, Victoria, Australia
Monash Rural Health Bendigo, Monash University, Victoria 3552, Australia
Rural Clinical School, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth 6102, Western Australia, Australia
Mental Health
Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Hadassah Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel..
Issue Date: 6-Nov-2021 2021
Publication information: Occupational Medicine (Oxford, England) 2021; 71(8): 343-345
Abstract: The hospital intensive care unit (ICU) environment encompasses sick patients who present for care in health crisis. Healthcare in this setting is complex, often involving the co-ordination of multiple professional teams, all under significant time pressures. The sequelae for staff interacting in this dynamic and often volatile setting are variable, depending upon their coping skillset and their familiarity with the stressors. The primary aim of this study was to describe and in doing so, normalize the behavioural responses expressed by ICU doctors (Intensivists) in response to stressful workplace events. The secondary aim was to identify those responses that contributed to resilience. A prospective qualitative study of senior Intensivists using a semi-scripted iterative interview. Data were transcribed and thematically analysed with verbatim quotations selected to support coding choices. Nineteen experienced Intensivists from three sites in Australia and Israel participated. Clinicians described conscious, physiological and professional responses to stressors, including sense-making and taking time to process information with appropriate support. Two of the most important mitigation processes revealed were the use of reflective learning and preventative practice changes to prevent future errors. These were overlaid with the importance of disclosure and transparency in clinical work. Repeated exposure to stressful events potentiates burnout, wherein staff no longer experience satisfaction and enjoyment in what they do. This paper presents the behavioural responses that experienced Intensivists described in relation to stressful events in the ICU, including steps taken to mitigate the effects of these events on their personal well-being.
DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqab112
ORCID: 0000-0002-4225-9120
Journal: Occupational Medicine
PubMed URL: 34729608
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Intensivists
intensive care
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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