It is in everybody’s interest to do something about the levels of workplace stress that exist today. The truth is that the situation is nothing short of a pandemic in and of itself. Improved communication technology has brought the working life into the personal life, hyper connectivity means that we never really have a moment alone. These effects have been bleeding into the experience of the working day for millions. And less stressed workers are always better workers. It has been demonstrated that high levels of stress cause decreased worker productivity and are also responsible for increased levels of employee sick leave.
This last point is especially important. While stress can adversely affect productivity in the short term (as well as make the working day much less pleasant), the long-term effects of the stress are even worse – and they can truly wreck your health. The proven risk factors for stressed workers (in any industry) range from job dissatisfaction all the way up to suicide, depression, and addiction. This is no joke, and we need to view rising stress levels as nothing short of a catastrophe that needs to be tackled.
Stress In Healthcare
True to form, those working in healthcare jobs are no exception when it comes to adverse effects of workplace stress. Or rather, you could say that they are an exception insofar as stress affects them even more so. This is simply because a healthcare position is already one of the most stressful jobs. Dealing with life and death on a near daily basis, and with a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders, healthcare workers already need to accept a degree of stress. Therefore, it is surely a disaster that rising stress levels and job dissatisfaction are a phenomenon observed within healthcare as well.
The Benefits Of Tackling Stress
Thankfully, this societal problem has not gone unnoticed, and there are in fact many readily available stress reduction tactics which healthcare employees are – or should be – aware of. Health Jobs Nationwide, a healthcare jobs recruitment service, say that any stress reduction in the context of healthcare jobs needs not only to be a combination of education regarding how to combat stress, but also the provision of anti-stress services for health workers to make use of.
If this is done, then the benefits of stress reduction will soon be felt by employees. But what are they? The truth, in fact, is that there are simply too many to enumerate. The connection between stress and poor mental health has been clinically proven and reducing will help with a litany of issues – from health worker depression to rates of addiction and suicide – and it will also make for better nurses and doctors.
Breaking The Cycle Of Stress
So, it would be fair to say that the issue isn’t a lack of knowledge. We know that stress is destructive, and we know the problems it can cause among health workers. The problem is a lack of self-care. Health workers should be offered things like counselling and leave, but much of stress reduction is a personal responsibility.
The way forward then is education. Workers need to know how stress is affecting them and head off the problem before it leads to more serious issues. When a healthcare worker is suffering from burnout for example, stress reduction in that workplace has already failed.
It is a terrible shame that in our world of so many modern advancements (especially in health care) the very health of workers is in one way getting worse. Stress is the reason – and it needs to be fought.
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