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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 227801 Find in a Library
Title: Organizational Correlates of Secondary Traumatic Stress and Burnout Among Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
Journal: Journal of Forensic Nursing  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:2009  Pages:97-106
Author(s): Stephanie M. Townsend Ph.D.; Rebecca Campbell Ph.D.
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 10
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined correlates of secondary traumatic stress (STS) and "burnout" among Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs).
Abstract: Previous research has conceptualized stresses experienced by trauma responders as "secondary traumatic stress," also known as "compassion fatigue." It results from hearing about another person's trauma rather than experiencing the trauma directly. The findings of this study indicate that variables which protect against STS include peer support, satisfaction with compensation, SANE-only facilities, age, and education. Variables that apparently protect against burnout were peer support, compensation, age, and higher education. The precise mechanisms by which these variables protect against STS and burnout could not be determined without additional data. Variables associated with higher levels of STS included organizational support, goal diffusion, and prosecution orientation. In addition, a programmatic orientation toward prosecution was positively associated with burnout. These variables may increase the mental effort required to perform job-related tasks. The association between younger age, less education, and both STS and burnout heighten emotional risks for younger nurses with less education. These nurses may benefit from additional support and mentoring. The association between a prosecution-orientation, STS, and burnout may be relieved by training SANEs to focus on performing their functions professionally, without focusing on subsequent case outcomes, over which they have no control. Data were collected between December 2002 and December 2003, based on a sampling frame of all SANE programs in the United States that serve adult survivors of sexual assaults. The total sampling frame consisted of 288 programs, from which a random sample of 144 programs was selected. Cross-sectional interviews were conducted with nurses from the random sample of programs. The interview measured organizational and demographic variable and current level of STS and burnout. 2 tables, 1 figure, and 33 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Burnout syndrome; Critical incident stress; Sexual assault victims; Stress assessment; Victim counseling; Victim medical assistance
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