Nurses’ Perceptions of Stress when Working with Dying Patients on a Cancer Ward

  • Jeanne Samson Katz


Many studies investigating the ways in which health workers interacted with dying people suggested that this activity was experienced as stressful per se (Benoliel 1983; Vachon 1987; Field 1989; Davey 1993), especially for nurses who of all health workers have the most frequent contact with dying people. Nurses’ perceptions of their work are influenced by the nature of their patients’ conditions, and in turn, the quality of patient care is influenced by the ways in which nurses perceive their caring for dying people. This chapter focuses on ways in which nurses conceptualised stress and distress in their work environment when caring for dying cancer patients. The study upon which this is based (Katz 1989) sought to investigate whether nurses did indeed find caring for dying people stressful and if so, to identify particular aspects of their job as stressful. An additional aim was to elicit nurses’ views about strategies which might operate as stress alleviators.


Student Nurse Trained Staff Qualified Staff Good Nursing Basic Nursing 
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Copyright information

© Glennys Howarth and Peter C. Jupp 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanne Samson Katz

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