Lara Traeger on Challenges of Studying Burnout in Nurses

Lara Traeger, PhD

Lara Traeger, PhD, psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, discusses challenges in studying burnout among nurses.

Lara Traeger, PhD, psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, discusses challenges in studying burnout among nurses.

In a qualitative study, Traeger conducted in-depth interviews with nursing staff during their shifts to identify factors that impact occupational burnout. The study found that intense shift schedules, discussing end of life care, and feeling isolated within a multi-provider team caused burnout and fatigue among nurses.

One of the challenges with the study was the lack of time that nurses had to participate in the interviews during their shifts. Another challenge was that some nurses found it difficult to admit negative aspects of their jobs.

Traeger says that many of the participants gave feedback on how to improve the ambiance in the unit.