Emotional effort and perceived support in renal nursing: A comparative interview study

Stephen Brown, Paul Bain, Pia Broderick, Max Sully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Social support is an important moderator of poor well-being outcomes for nurses engaged in emotional labour with patients; however, the most effective support for renal nurses is not well understood compared with other specialties. Objectives: To identify patterns and themes in how renal nurses and two other specialties engage with patients' emotional expressions, express their own emotion and access and provide support for emotional expenditure. Method: Renal, emergency and palliative care nurses from Perth, Western Australia, were interviewed. Results: Renal nurses engage in significant amounts of emotional labour with patients, and identify co-workers as the most important source of support due to their availability and a sense of shared experience. However, comparative analysis showed that renal nurses do not recognise their emotional expenditure as readily and have less certainty of co-worker support. Conclusions: Because their high levels of emotional engagement with patients are mostly positive, renal nurses are less prepared than other nurses to manage difficult emotional situations. As co-worker support is highly valued, organisations should train renal nurses specifically to support one another.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-255
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Renal Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • Job stress
  • Nurses
  • Patients
  • Renal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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