In general, emergency departments (EDs) are stressful workplaces with excessive workloads and time pressures. Crowding, which is an important problem worldwide disrupting ED functions, leads further increases in the stressors which health care workers are exposed to. Long-term exposure to stressors can lead to anxiety in health care workers. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of aromatherapy on crowding-related anxiety in ED health care workers. Crowding was measured simultaneously with the National Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale objectively and the Health Care Workers' Crowding Perception Evaluation Form subjectively. The state–trait anxiety level was measured at each crowding level according to the health care workers' perception. When perceived crowding was at severely overcrowding level, lavender oil aromatherapy was applied. Anxiety level was measured before and after aromatherapy. Aromatherapy was repeated 3 times on different days. A significant positive correlation was found between state anxiety level and perceived crowding (r = 0.415, p < 0.001). Aromatherapy was found to have a significant correlation in reducing the overcrowding-related anxiety in health care workers (p < 0.05). This study showed that there is a significant correlation between anxiety level and perceived crowding, and aromatherapy is related to a decrease in overcrowding-related anxiety. In EDs, lavender oil aromatherapy can be used as a complementary method in reducing the overcrowding-related anxiety. But further researches are needed to verify that aromatherapy has a causative effect on reducing overcrowding-related anxiety.
Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: Jul 1, 2021