Surviving workplace adversity: a qualitative study of nurses and midwives and their strategies to increase personal resilience.

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Journal Article
Journal of nursing management, 2016, 24 (1), pp. 123 - 131
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To explore the experiences of Australian nurses and midwives who perceived themselves as resilient. The focus of this paper is to report the strategies used by a group of nurses and midwives to develop and maintain their resilience, despite encountering serious workplace adversity.Despite the potentially adverse effects of nursing work, many nurses and midwives thrive through exercising self-efficacy and coping skills. The relationship between thriving and resilience is clear, as resilience refers to the ability to cope well with adversity and change.The participants were part of an instrumental, collective case study investigation of personal resilience amongst nurses and midwives. Prior to an innovative, work-based intervention including workshops and mentoring, participants were interviewed to collect baseline perceptions and experiences of personal resilience and workplace adversity. Interview transcripts were analysed thematically.Participants attributed their ability to thrive in the workplace to three major influences: support networks, personal characteristics and ability to organise work for personal resilience.Participant insights contributed to a deeper understanding of personal resilience and highlight future initiatives to enhance the ability of nurses and midwives to thrive within health organisations and systems.It is vital that resilience-enhancing initiatives, such as peer mentoring and tailored work options to increase autonomy, are implemented at earlier career phases.
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