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December 27, 2021
1 min read

Survey: High levels of stress, burnout found among dialysis nurses

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The COVID-19 pandemic and workplace challenges are taking a toll on nurses caring for patients on dialysis, according to results of a survey in Nephrology Nursing Journal.

“Many nephrology nurses are experiencing high levels of burnout, anxiety and depression due to the COVID-19 pandemic and work-related stressors,” the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) said in a press release. “Increasingly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nephrology nurses have reported issues of heightened stress and strains on their overall well-being. In addition, nephrology employers have reported experiencing mounting difficulties in recruiting nephrology nurses and widespread concerns about attrition.”

ANNA completed the survey and received support from Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.

Survey Results

ANNA surveyed its members from July 24 through August 17, 2020. The Mental Health and Health-Related Quality of Life Among Nephrology Nurses: A Survey-Based Cross-Sectional Study, was conducted by Vicki Montoya, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, and others from ANNA and Otsuka.

"As the pandemic unfolded in 2020, we were hearing about the enormous stresses nephrology nurses were facing,” Montoya said in the release. “We knew there were many workplace challenges before COVID-19, but the pandemic has clearly exacerbated these. And that raises many alarms, not only for nurses’ health, but for patient care and safety.”

Results from the 393 respondents revealed the following:

  • 62% reported feeling burned out from work;
  • 47% reported symptoms of anxiety; and
  • 16% reported symptoms of major depressive episodes.

Workload was identified as the main driver in anxiety and burnout, and 42% had voiced concerns to a supervisor about a workload that was too heavy.

Experiences during pandemic

According to survey results, 83% of respondents had patients with COVID-19 at their work facility, and 56% were responsible for the care of patients with COVID-19 at some time during the pandemic.

“Among those nurses responsible for the care of patients with COVID-19, 59% responded that the patient(s) they cared for had died following diagnosed or suspected COVID-19.

Few respondents (4%) reported having been diagnosed with COVID-19 or having a suspected case of COVID-19,” the researchers said.


ANNA Study: Nephrology Nurses Report High Levels of Mental, Physical Stress; Immediate Action Needed. Published Nov. 29, 2021. Accessed Dec. 23, 2021.