Background: Pediatric nurses are very vulnerable to occupational stress due to their constant and intense contact with children that are suffering from diseases threatening to their lives and are experiencing pain psychologically and/or physically.
Aim. The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the quality of professional life of pediatric nurses and factors that influence and contribute to higher occupational stress.
Material-methods. Systematic review that was conducted by searching articles in international bibliographic databases (Medline, PubMed, Scopus) for the period January-May 2021. Selection criteria set were the studies to be primary, published in English after 2015, to concern pediatric nurses as a whole or a large part of the sample, to be published and their subject matter to be completely relevant to the aim of the review. There were 313 articles that were identified and after evaluation only 13 met the criteria for inclusion in the systematic review.
Results. Pediatric nurses have moderate percentage of compassion fatigue and burnout, 20-50%, and high percentage of compassion satisfaction. Have found a positive correlation between female compassion satisfaction and age <40 years and a negative correlation between secondary traumatic stress and education level. Pediatric nurses with many years of experience have developed coping mechanisms to manage symptoms of stress and have acquired resilience as a personality trait. Moreover, occupational stress as well as current stress was associated with compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress. No differences were found between nurses and doctors, between different levels of education, while between different pediatric departments the results were contradictory. Social and organizational support was found to be effective in reducing stress parameters and increase satisfaction.
Conclusions. It is imperative that nursing organizations and administrations take steps to enhance the satisfaction and quality of professional life of pediatric nurses by implementing training programs, work support groups and individual self-care programs to help nurses cope with stressful situations at work.