Healthy work environment in critical care unit

Ujjwal Dahiya

Published on: 2021-12-06


The critical care unit is a stressful environment for doctors, nurses, patients and patient’s family members. The COVID 19 pandemic in the past two years has substantially affected the health care workers. The “Working Together for Health” report of the World Health Organization in 2006 gave emphasis to the worldwide shortage of employees in healthcare settings, mainly nurses, due to stressful work conditions (WHO, 2006). There have been new and wider sources of work-related stress for ICU nurse. End-of-life issues, ethical problems, caring for people who are suffering and futile care, miscommunication with colleagues and patients or patients’ family members, increased demands by patients’ relatives, technical competencies required in advanced life sustaining treatments, as well as a high degree of responsibility have been addressed as some of the major work-related stressors for all health professionals employed in ICUs. Nurses working in intensive care units are more likely to quit job, because they work in difficult work environment that is associated with futile care and ethical dilemmas. Therefore a healthy work environment plays an important role in critical care unit. A healthy work environment is not only improves physiological and mental well-being in ICU healthcare personnel, but also with augmented standards of safety and quality of provided care helps in establishing a healing environment for critical patients and their families, too. The standards involved in healthy work environment as given by AACN are skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision-making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition, and authentic leadership. Healthy work environment leads to better job satisfaction and meaningful recognition.