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Date Posted: 12/Apr/2014
Lukpata, Felicia E. MSc, PGDE, BNSc, RN, RM
Department of Nursing Science, University of Calabar, Calabar
Lukpata, Ogar H. MSc (COMM HEALTH), PGDE, BSc
Department of PUblic Health, University of Calabar, Calabar
Ndiok, Akon MSc, PGDE, BNSc, RM, RN
Department of PUblic Health, University of Calabar, Calabar
Mgbekem, Mary A. Ph.D
Department of PUblic Health, University of Calabar, Calabar
January 2013
Volume 11 NO.1
Pages 87-92

ABSTRACT: Stress is a universal phenomenon experienced by everybody in the course of life on earth. it is a phenomenon that no one can evade as man struggles to survive. As a psychoogical construct, the concept of stress have proven to be relatively difficult to define as the word stress depicts different array of things to different people thus posing the problem of a most acceptable definition. According to Ghandi, Benson and Gyaranzama (2011) the freqently used definition by lazarus and folkman states that 'stress is a condition or feeliing experienced when a person perceived that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilze". some perceive stress as negative with negative outcomes while others view stress as a challenge that spur creativity and motivates us to achieve. Mcvicar (2003) posits that a certain amount of stress is actually needed to plan and push us on, live and acheive goals but when stress is unremitting, it causes one to respond in maladaptive physiological, physical and psychological ways. 

Many events in life can cause stress and produce stress reactions in individuals. This may include death and bereavement, ill health, divorce, changes in financial status, social activities, busy schedules, workplace factors and even personal achievements and fame. Stressors are found everywhere, in our homes, workplaces, social gatherings, market places among others.
Certain factors in the workplace can cause stress; this type of stress is identified as work related stress. The international council of nurses (2008) described work related stress as "the harmful emotional and physical reactions resulting from the interactions between the worker and his/her work environment where the demands of the job exceed the workers' capabilities and resources'. some professions have been identified as the most stressful professions and nursing occupies a conspicuous position because they relate with humans mostly in times of pain, suffering and death. According to hughes (2008) Nuring can be an extremely exciting and satisfying profession but very stressful. The nurses role has long been regarded as stress filled based on physical labor, human suffering, work hours and shift, staffing and inter personal relationships that are central to the work nurses do. The sources of stress in nurses workplace are varied and include; work overload, dealing with the critically ill, death and dying, uncertainty concerning treatment plans, lack of social support, conflict with colleagues, supervisors, patient and other team members, lack of task autonomy as well as reduced advancement opportunities amongst other factors. These have implications for the quality of care the nurses render.
A stressed nurse may transmit stress indirectly to her patients through his/her inability to offer quality nursing care thus compromising patient safety, patient safety may be compromised through medication and procedural errors, failure to rescue, neglect an abandonment, verbal and physical hostility. Patient safety implies prevention of harm to the patient, Emphasis is placed on the system of care delivery that prevents error and learns from the error that occurs. It also involves freedom from accidental or preventable injuries produced by mdical and nursing care. thus, if patient safety is compromised then, the goal of nursing is defeated. These concerns gave birth to this study.
This study was therefore carried out to investigate Nurses' workplace stress and its impact on patient safety. Specifically, the impact of workload, critical care nursing and dysfunctional workplace relationship on patient safety are considered.

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