Workplace stress and coping strategies among nurses in HIV/AIDS care: Geita District Hospital, Tanzania
The unprecedented increase in HIV and AIDS cases has trickled down to the already impoverished health sector, thus impacting health workers in various ways. In a shrinking health workforce, HIV/AIDS has created an extra demand and workload, emotional burden and stress among health workers. The study aimed to explore and describe nurses’ workplace stressors and coping strategies with regards to HIV/AIDS environment. The exploratory- descriptive study was qualitative in nature. Geita District Hospital was selected as it is the only health facility in the district that provides in-patient care services related to HIV/AIDS. The study population consisted of all nurses who work with HIV and AIDS patients and the managers providing support to nurses. The researcher interviewed twelve nurses and two key informants. Face to face interviews were conducted and a semi-structured interview guide was utilised to collect data. Thematic content analysis was utilised and themes were derived from the concepts that emerged during the process. Validity and trustworthiness of the study was established through triangulation and member checking. The findings of the study revealed that nurses in HIV/AIDS experience stress from the workplace. Nurses struggled with issues of death and dying, feared occupational exposure and found it difficult to cope with nursing shortage, increased workload and inadequate training. The nurses were generally disturbed by lack of organisational support and the unavailability of resources such as; basic medical supplies and protective equipment. Nurses seemed to be resorting more to positive reappraisal, planful problem solving and seeking social support strategies.