Protective Factors for Social Workers in a Medical Setting that Prevent Burnout

의료사회복지사를 소진으로부터 보호하는 요인은 무엇인가?

  • Published : 2005.11.30


This study is to find out factors that protect social workers in a medical setting from burnout. It is differentiated from the existing studies, which focused on factors or process causing burnout. The participants of the study were ten social workers, who have been working in a medical setting for at least seven years and were recognized as competent social workers by at least five other colleagues. The data were collected through intensive interviews. The contents of the interviews were analyzed by using Nvivo2, a computer software program for use qualitative study analysis. The result of this study categorized coping strategies that kept the social workers from burnout. Among such factors were their own admissions of having professional competency, feeling worthwhile and sense of accomplishment, having a firm belief system and value about their profession, teamwork, and their overall disposition. Additionally, they said that the support by their agency and the recognition and support by family contributed to their overall coping ability. Through this study, it was found that the social workers in medical setting were reducing risk factors related to burnout and overcoming them with various protective factors. These protective factors reflected the unique characteristics that social workers encounter in a medical setting. It was remarkable that 'developing and managing their professional competency' was emphasized most as a protective factor.