The influence of personal characteristics on the resilience of operating room nurses: a predictor study.

International journal of nursing studies

PubMedID: 17915223

Gillespie BM, Chaboyer W, Wallis M. The influence of personal characteristics on the resilience of operating room nurses: a predictor study. Int J Nurs Stud. 2009;46(7):968-76.
BACKGROUND
Resilience in the workplace has been described as a means of facilitating adaptation in stressful environments, and therefore has application in nursing contexts. However, little research has examined how personal characteristics such as age, nursing experience and education contribute to resilience in clinical environments such as the operating room (OR).

OBJECTIVE
First to identify the level of resilience, and second, investigate whether age, experience and education contribute to resilience in an Australian sample of OR nurses.

METHODS
A predictive survey design was used. A random sample of 1430 nurses who were members of the Australian College of Operating Room Nurses association were surveyed. The survey included the 25-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and demographic questions. A standard regression model tested the hypothesis that age, years of OR experience and education contributed to resilience in OR nurses.

RESULTS
A total of 735 (51.4%) completed, usable surveys were returned. Pearson's correlations demonstrated modest but statistically significant associations between age (p<0.001), and years of OR experience (p<0.0001), and resilience. In the multiple regression model, only years of OR experience predicted resilience (p<0.0001) and explained a small 3.1% of the variance in resilience.

CONCLUSIONS
In OR nurses, resilience appears to be predicted by other attributes and is not necessarily dependent on an individual's personal characteristics. Thus, recruitment to the OR should not be based on the conventional notion that an older nursing workforce will have greater longevity and hence be more stable. If younger, less experienced nurses are adequately supported, they may thrive in the OR environment.