Rwanda Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Perceived effects of burnout on patients and its management among nurses in the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department of a Rwandan University Teaching Hospital

Emeline Umutoni Cishahayo, Marie Jeanne Tuyisenge, Marie Josée Mwiseneza, Ruth Sego, Busisiwe Rosemary Bhengu


Background: The level of burnout among nurses working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Emergency Department (ED) is high, which adversely affects health and work-related outcomes for both nurses and patients. Little is known about burnout among ICU and ED nurses in Rwanda.

Objective: To explore the perceived effects of burnout among nurses and its management at a referral hospital in Rwanda.

Methods: A qualitative study design was carried out using focus groups. A purposive sample of six ICU and six ED nurses were recruited from the referral hospital in the capital city of Kigali. The discussions were audio-recorded in Kinyarwanda, transcribed verbatim into English and analysed inductively using thematic analysis.

Results: Burnout among the 12 nurses was high and the five main themes namely, high burnout, the Variability of care, Incomplete care, Erratic care and Improving situation to prevent burnout.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicated that burnout is high between the ICU and ED study population and nurses need to be taken care of too. A good working environment addressing adequate staffing, specialty training, operational materials, and social activities are needed to improve unit functioning, and patient satisfaction and safety.

Keywords: Burnout, nurses, Intensive Care Unit, emergency department, patient care

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