The impact of burnout on the intention to quit among professional nurses in the Free State region - A national crisis?
South African Journal of Psychology
Centre for Health Systems Research and Development, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Thousands of qualified nurses leave the South African health sector on an annual basis owing to various reasons, including burnout. Research showed that demanding work circumstances could influence employees to consider whether to leave an organisation or not. The aim of this study was to determine the level of burnout among professional nurses and to explore the potential impact of burnout on the intention to quit/change. The sample consisted of 563 professional nurses representing 140 clinics located in five health districts in the Free State region. A total of 542 (97%) questionnaires were completed and returned. Participants in the study were predominantly black (83.8%), female (89.3%), day-shift working (89.8%) and full-time employed (99.8%). The measuring tools included a biographical questionnaire, Maslach's Burnout Inventory to determine the level of burnout of professional nurses, and an Intention to Quit/Change questionnaire. Analysis of variance was used to determine differences regarding burnout between different groups with varying degrees of intention to quit/change. Respondents exhibited high levels of Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization and average levels of Personal Accomplishment. Respondents with the highest levels of Emotional Exhaustion and Depersonalization and the lowest levels of Personal Accomplishment displayed a higher degree of intention to quit/change. © Psychological Society of South Africa. All rights reserved.