Purpose: The goal of this study was to explore interview data related to occupational stress in U.S. audiologists. This study is part of a larger project: The Lived Experience of the Audiologist, which seeks to develop a richer understanding of audiologists’ lived experience via interview and survey research.
Method: Demographic and interview data related to occupational stress were examined from 28 virtual interviews of clinical audiologists in the United States. Qualitative data relative to workplace stressors were subjected to thematic analysis. Stress ratings were examined via descriptive statistics, correlation, and comparison with demographics.
Results: Self-ratings of average-day and worst-day stress were not related to work setting, years of experience, or U.S. region. Participant descriptions of workplace stressors yielded seven main themes: time, patients, administration, financial, lack of support, colleagues, and work–life balance. Some participants attributed stress response to personality traits.
Conclusions: Audiologists’ quotes illustrate the human impact of stressors in the workplace. The most commonly reported workplace stressors were lack of time, patient-related issues, administration, and financial issues. Time and administration as common causes of stress were consistent with prior studies conducted in other countries; however, patient-related and financial stressors were more prominent stressors for U.S. audiologists. Stress ratings were not related to work setting, location, or years of experience in the current study. Participants often linked their perception of stress to personality traits, a phenomenon that has been explored as a factor in the exploration of occupational stress in other fields, but not in audiology. Future research in stress and burnout should examine personality traits in addition to extensive demographics.