Handbook of Research on Stress and Well-Being in the Public Sector
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Handbook of Research on Stress and Well-Being in the Public Sector

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Silvia Pignata

This timely Handbook addresses the concepts of stress and well-being among workers in various public sector roles and occupations across the globe. Emphasizing the importance of well-being and stress prevention initiatives in ever-changing workplace environments, this Handbook highlights successful organizational initiatives and provides insight into best practice for promoting healthy employees and workplaces. Containing contributions from leading international experts in their respective fields, the contributors hope that this multi-disciplinary Handbook will help to enhance the health and well-being of public sector employees.
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Chapter 8: Emotions in nursing

Gillian Lewis and Neal M. Ashkanasy


Professional nurses work in an occupation that requires them to engage with others – patients, hospital staff, and medical practitioners. As such, they need to deal with their own and others’ emotions on a day-to-day basis, and often in stressful circumstances. It is argued in this chapter that, contrary to the traditional view that emotions are disruptive and inefficient, nurses need to recognize that emotions are an inherent component of their work, and to manage their own and others’ emotions effectively. The chapter analyzes nurses’ experience of emotions at five levels of analysis: (1) temporally varying emotions within-person; (2) individual differences in the experience of emotions; (3) emotion experiences in interpersonal relationships, including emotional labor; (4) emotions in teams and groups; and (5) emotions in the organization as a whole, including affective climate and culture. At the lower levels, emotional labor determines enculturation, social and role identity, and the delivery of health care. At the organization level, emotional labor remains a business resource. By adopting the multilevel perspective of emotions in nursing, the authors seek to elaborate on the range of emotional interaction from the within-person level up to and including the organization level.

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