*Corresponding author:Mmule M. Magama, Assistant Director, Centre for Academic Development, University of Botswana, Botswana, Africa
Received: December 20, 2017; Published: January 09, 2018
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Background: The study examined the nature of stress among nurses working in Gaborone City Council clinics. The aim of the study was to investigate the nature of stress affecting nurses with a particular attention to nurses understanding of stress, contributing factors, their experiences, coping mechanisms, as well as suggestions on measures they use to minimize stress.
Methods: An Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI) was used as a framework to guide the study. A combined paradigm approach in which a semi structured questionnaire and focus group were used to collect data. None probability technique using conveniently selected sample was employed to identify research participants .
Findings: The findings revealed that 90% of nurses have an adequate knowledge about stress, that nurses experience tremendous stress and most have already developed signs and symptoms of stress. Major stressors in the nursing environment were found to be poor conditions of service, in particular poor management styles, lack of resources and supplies such as equipment and drugs. Forty three percent (43%) cited blood pressure machines, weighing scales and furniture as old, poorly maintained and inadequate. Nurses used various strategies to deal with stress; included in the list were smoking, dysfunctional behaviours such as aggression, anger and irritability.
Conclusion: It is apparent that nurses are mostly stressed by poor working conditions related to lack of resources, heavy workload and poor management styles. Though the study cannot be applied to all nurses in Botswana, it is adequate to represent nurses who offer primary health care in the clinics and outpatient settings. Researcher recommended a national study that would be highly representative, more exploration about the extent and the nature of smoking amongst nurses; the need to improve work conditions and to develop counselling programs for nurses.