New publication on work engagement in intensive care

Working in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is complex and physically, cognitively and emotionally demanding. Although the negative emotions of work-related stress have been well studied, the opposite perspective of work engagement might also provide valuable insight into how these demands may be countered. This study included 193 Dutch ICU nurses and intensivists and explored the relationships between work engagement, job demands and personal resources. Work engagement was negatively related both to cognitive demands among intensivists and to emotional demands among ICU nurses. No significant relationship was found between work engagement and empathic ability; however, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability were highly correlated with work engagement. Most importantly, work engagement counterbalances work-related stress reactions. The relatively high workload in ICUs, coupled with an especially heavy emotional burden, may be acknowledged as an integral part of ICU work. However, this high workload does not affect the level of work engagement, which was high for both intensivists and nurses despite the high job demands (download full article).