L’objectif était d’examiner les relations réciproques des stratégies de travail émotionnel avec l’épuisement émotionnel et l’identité professionnelle.
Aims The aim was to examine the reciprocal relationships of emotional labour strategies with emotional exhaustion and professional identity. Design This study adopted a four-wave cross-lagged panel design. Methods Survey data were collected in 2018 from a sample of 171 newly hired nurses from 58 hospitals in 11 provinces of China. Nurses’ emotional labour (i.e., deep acting and surface acting), emotional exhaustion and professional identity were repeatedly measured. Cross-lagged panel analyses were conducted to examine the reciprocal relationships we hypothesized. Results We found that emotional exhaustion was positively related to surface acting (but not vice versa); deep acting was negatively related to emotional exhaustion (but not vice versa); professional identity was positively related to deep acting (but not vice versa). Conclusion Our findings suggest that deep acting and professional identity may decrease the level of emotional exhaustion, whereas emotionally exhausted nurses are more likely to employ surface acting strategies. Impact This research finding will have an impact on the nursing management. Healthcare managers may consider workshops or training and development programs that promote nurses’ professional identify to promote nurses’ use of deep acting and consequently reduce their level of emotional exhaustion, which has been associated with a variety of negative consequences, such as low quality of patient service, high medical accidents, and turnover rate.