The relationship between stress perceived by oncology nurses and the mastery of stress
The healthcare industry is undergoing rapid changes. Nursing is in the midst of this dynamic process and is experiencing increased stress as a result. This is especially true of the oncology nurse speciality. The responsibilities of the oncology nurses are becoming more complex. Methods to intervene or master the stress are needed. If mastery of the stress is not achieved, oncology nurses may abandon their speciality and enter another field of nursing or leave the nursing profession. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of the stress perceived by oncology nurses and the mastery of this stress.The conceptual framework used in this study was the theory of mastery developed by Younger. The Mastery of Stress Instrument (MSI) developed by Younger was used to measure the stress component and the mastery component. A descriptive correlational study design was used. The population for this study was a convenience sample of the responding members of a midwestern chapter of the oncology nursing society (n= 39). Participation in the study was voluntary, with the MSI and the demographic data being returned by self-addressed postage-paid envelope. The MSI was identified by number only. No names were assigned to the numbers to insure anonymity of the subjects. The data was discussed as group data. No risks to the participants were identified in this study. The benefit of this study was to contribute to the data base for the MSI and to increase the awareness of stress and mastery.The research question was analyzed using the Pearson Moment Correlation Coefficient. A small but significant correlation coefficient was found between the acceptance and the growth subscales of the Mastery of Stress Instrument (r=.33, p <.05). No other significant correlation were found.Rapid changes are occurring in the healthcare environment of today. Nurses are in the center of this change and must master the increased stress experienced. The author concluded that the oncology nurses in this sample have mastered the stress they experienced possibly due to the length of time in the oncology nursing speciality. Also, the high level of education in this sample of oncology nurses indicates that the oncology nurses are more efficient at the mastery of the stress they experience.