Work Structure in the Chronic Care Setting: Possible Consequences for Nurses' Mental Health

Marie Alderson


purpose of this study was to add to the body of knowledge on nurses' work environment in order to better understand their collective experience and the reasons for their mental health issues. A psychodynamic approach to work was used. The results show that the main source of nurses' dissatisfaction with their work is the perceived failure of management and other professionals to accord them due recognition, autonomy, and professional power. This situation is largely the result of an inappropriate organization of nurses' work, with nursing responsibilities unmatched by their degree of recognition, autonomy, and power. The author concludes that the organization of nursing must be transformed, not only to lower the rate of absenteeism but also to improve nursing care and enhance the professionalization of nursing.

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