Burnout and Contagion of Rigorous Care Nurses

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About this sample


Words: 1319 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Words: 1319|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Literature Review
  2. Emotional contagion
    Burnout contagion
    Burnout contagion among ICU nurses
  3. Conclusion
  4. References

Universally, rigorous care nurses have huge responsibilities and performed more activities, but only confined consent. They do the care of patients, manage the time correctly and response to critical issues of process (Erlen & Sereika 1997), although they have lack of authority to make a important decisions to manage with these demands (Sawatzky 1996). High demand jobs with low control express the distress physically and psychologically according to the demand-control model (Karasek 1979). In the end because of these working conditions reduced nurse’s emotional resources and may introduce the burnout syndrome (see, for example, DeRijk et al. 1998, Bourbonnais et al. 1999).

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Burnout is defined as a state of emotional and physical abasement. It is a result of chronic stress to stressful working environment ( Maslach & Jackson 1986 ). Feelings of emotional fatigue are considered as sign of the burnout affliction ( Shirom 2003)

Literature Review

Emotional contagion

Emotional contagion has been defined as that through the unconscious/ conscious enthronement of individual perspective or personality. Team work can also effect the emotions of the others and ergo, to concur emotionally’ (Hatfield et al. 1994, p.5). In this definition the emphasis is on non-conscious emotional contagion. It is truly shown in research that in conversation, people willy-nilly take off tone, behavior, postures and the facial expressions of the others ( Bavelas et al. 1988), such facial feedback are the persons conscious experience (e.g. Laird 1984).

On the other hand, there is an also second method through people easily catch the emotions of another’s when individual consider himself/ herself in that same feelings of others in a same particular situation. They are able to feel the same feelings for them ( Hsee et al. 1990).

Despite of why such contagion may appear, expert from the different scope have explained that emotional contagion be present (see Hatfield et al. 1994, McIntosh et al. 1994, for overview). Hsee et al. (1990) and Uchino et al. (1991) detailed cogent proof for emotional contagion using randomized controlled laboratory studies. Meanwhile; in these analysis, students had to watch video tapes of another people as they contributed relating on emotional encounter. Then students were asked about the people emotions that what they felt about them when they expressed sorrows and pleasures they faced in their lives. Resultantly, it was showed in experiment that colleagues hook and eye the emotions of the incentive people. The consequences of these trials both the member and judges rating of students expressions showed that when they were watching actor happy emotion they also felt glad and however, when they were watching them expressing heartbroken emotions they were also feel wistful.

Burnout contagion

When expert was researching on the etiology of burnout it was founded that syndrome can manifestation itself in individual behavior as well as social symptoms (see Schaufeli & Enzmann 1998, for an overview), that means burnout can be perceived by anther or group trough individual behaviors.

Therefore, many of specialist have quarreled that burnout can be also called as contagious (e.g. Cherniss 1980, Edelwich & Brodsky 1980), so slowly theories are collected in the favor of the burnout contagion for proofing. When first study was given on burnout contagion the expert who gave the first evidence on burnout contagion among the nurses and he was Groenestijn et al. (1992). He gave observational evidence by finding that nurses who had strong need for social comparison information (unlike their counterparts who did not show such need) reported high level of burnout when they come to know about more burnout complaints among their colleagues. The reason for this is understood to have been that nurses who have been who have a particular high level of social comparison are affected by the attitude and behaviors of their colleagues. Similarly Buunk and Schaufeli (1993) have intimated that nurses may think their colleague’s as role model whose signs are impersonated though a process of emotional contagion.

Bakker and Schaufeli (2000) innovate those employees who addressed with burned out colleagues about problematic students and caught their negative comments. In biting to find out the problems faced by their colleagues, teacher had to listen to negative attitudes of their colleagues (about themselves and students). This condition in which systematic processing is going to occur. It results in negative attitude change and hence their own attitudes also begin to be similar to them.

Burnout contagion among ICU nurses

Researcher Rountree’s (1984) and Bakker et al.’s (2003) finding that because of work group individual have high or low burnout can be observed within them.

According to (Lewandowski & Kositsky 1993) for a long time burnout is considered as issue in ICUs. Some experts have studies on its firms predecessor, like lavish call of duty (e,g. Tummers et al. 2002), stress of hour, assignment involvement (DeRijk et al.1998), comprehensive use of refined electronic components ( Schaufeli et al. 1995), flat ruling power ( Tummers et al. 2002). It is studied in the report of hypothesizing that – in ICUs - burnout is broadcasted from one nurse to another nurse or group of nurse. 1849 nurses were tested in this hypothesis from 80 different ICUs.


In conclusion, this discussion has delved into the challenges faced by rigorous care nurses, emphasizing their significant responsibilities and the limitations in their decision-making authority. The literature review has explored the concept of emotional contagion, detailing how individuals may unconsciously adopt the emotions of their colleagues through various mechanisms. Furthermore, the text has introduced the intriguing notion of burnout contagion, suggesting that burnout can manifest as a social phenomenon within work groups.

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The evidence presented highlights the interconnected nature of emotional experiences within healthcare settings, indicating that the emotional well-being of one nurse can potentially influence others. The references cited provide a foundation for understanding burnout, emotional contagion, and their implications, offering avenues for further exploration and research.


  1. Buunk A.P. & Schaufeli W.B. (1993) Burnout: a perspective from social comparison theory. In Professional Burnout: Recent Developments in Theory and Research (Schaufeli W.B., Maslach C. & Marek T., eds), Taylor & Francis, New York, pp. 53–69.
  2. Cherniss C. (1980) Professional Burnout in Human Service Organizations. Praeger, New York.
  3. DeRijk A.E., LeBlanc P.M., Schaufeli W.B. & DeJonge J. (1998) Active coping and need for control as moderators of the job demand-control model: effects on burnout. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 71, 1–18.
  4. Groenestijn E., Buunk B.P. & Schaufeli W.B. (1992) Het besmettingsgevaar bij burnout: De rol van sociale vergelijkingsprocessen [The danger of burnout contagion: the role of social comparison processes]. In Sociale psychologie & beı ¨nvloeding van intermenselijke en gezondheidsproblemen (Meertens R.W., Buunk A.P., van Lange P.A.M. & Verplanken B., eds), VUGA, The Hague, The Netherlands, pp. 88–103.
  5. Hsee C.K., Hatfield E., Carlson J.G. & Chemtob C. (1990) The effect of power on susceptibility to emotional contagion. Cognition and Emotion 4, 327–340.
  6. Lewandowski L.A. & Kositsky A.M. (1983) Research priorities for critical care nursing: a study by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Heart and Lung 12, 35–44.
  7. Maslach C. & Jackson S.E. (1986) MBI: Maslach Burnout Inventory; Manual Research Edition. University of California, Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA.
  8. Rountree B.H. (1984) Psychological burnout in task groups. Journal of Health and Human Resources Administration 7, 235–248.
  9. Schaufeli W.B. & Enzmann D. (1998) The Burnout Companion to Study and Practice: a Critical Analysis. Taylor & Francis, London.
  10. Tummers G.E.R., Van Merode G.G. & Landeweerd J.A. (2002) The diversity of work differences, similarities, and relationships concerning characteristics of the organization, the work and psychological work reactions in intensive care and non-intensive care nursing. International Journal of Nursing Studies 39, 841–855.
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Burnout and Contagion of Rigorous Care Nurses. (2024, February 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from
“Burnout and Contagion of Rigorous Care Nurses.” GradesFixer, 13 Feb. 2024,
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