Can Resilience Offset The Negative Impact Of Emotional Labour In Mental Health Nursing?
High emotional labour is seen as a major challenge for nurses working in mental health. The work is emotionally gruelling and there is a frequent need to mask real feelings and maintain a professional demeanour.
This article by Cynthia Delgado and her colleagues at the Australian Catholic University provides early findings on the relationship between emotional labour and resilience. 482 registered nurses work in a mental health role or setting across Australia participated.
Using the Resilience at Work Scale as the measure of resilience they found a strong negative relationship between resilience and the emotional labour strategy of ‘surface acting’. A positive association between resilience, frequency of emotional labour, and clinical supervision was also found.
These findings point to a potential link between the skills of cognitive reframing and the emotional and behavioural regulation needed to effectively manage emotions and remain therapeutic in interpersonal interactions.
The researchers propose that clinical supervision may be a key strategy in supporting mental health nurses’ resilience. They also recommend further investigation into how workplace individual and organisational resources, supports, and strategies can promote and strengthen the resilience of mental health nurses.