Differences between doctors and nurses

Each individual working on the ICU may not be exposed to all the stressors discussed above (Table 1); their job will determine which stressors are more relevant to them. Doctors may find that the major factors include having responsibility for decision-making regarding patient management, longer working hours than their colleagues with subsequent fatigue and sleep deprivation, and other commitments such as research or work in other areas ( Table. . . .2).

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Table 2 Some of the differences in working conditions between doctors and nurses

Nursing staff may work fewer hours with less responsibility for decisions and usually have good support from their colleagues, although they have to deal with problems of continuous exposure to patients and relatives which may be particularly demanding when dealing with death and dying.

The levels of stress to which staff are exposed may cause difficulties with the organization of the ICU, and this will be revealed by organizational symptoms ( T§.ble...3). If these are present, then there is the need for action.


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Table 3 Organizational symptoms of excessive stress

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