Thursday, 08 September 2011 16:00Doctors often deal with workplace stress as the result of having to make difficult decisions on a daily basis, some of which have lives depending on the correct answer. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati recently conducted a survey to determine whether physicians working in different fields have similar stress levels.
Using a number of work intensity measurement tools and questionnaires, the team of scientists examined anxiety levels in 45 family healthcare providers, 20 general internal organ specialist, 22 neurologists and 21 surgeons.
The researchers discovered that general internists and surgeons experience similar levels of workplace stress. Interestingly, they also found that these types of professionals are significantly more anxious than family physicians and neurologists.
Overall, surgeons reported highest levels of task concentration, stress and physical demands when compared to the other specialists.
"A physician's work can be assessed by the time required to complete it and by the intensity of the effort, which is central to properly valuing the services being provided," said lead investigator Ronnie Horner, Ph.D.
Results of this study suggest that there may be a need for employee wellness programs for stress management in a variety of healthcare settings.
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 16:00While some efforts have been made to reduce workplace stress for medical residents, such as decreases in the duration of shifts, training to be a doctor still appears to be a tough job.
Mayo Clinic researchers recently found in a study of 16,394 medical residents that 51 percent of them reported burnout, and about 46 percent said they experience emotional exhaustion as a result of their work. Moreover, some 29 percent of respondents reported feeling depersonalized or cynical, and nearly 15 percent said their quality of life was "as bad as it could be."
The team of scientists noted that residents with student loan debt tended to have a lower quality of life than their debt-free counterparts. This was especially true for those who owed more than $200,000. Study authors noted that the average debt for medical students is $160,000.
"We hope that now that we have established national numbers for these distress variables, we can perhaps focus less effort on documenting the problem and turn greater attention to how best to improve the situation," said lead author Colin West, M.D., Ph.D.
Results of this study suggest that healthcare facilities may benefit significantly from employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management.
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 16:00Employees in human resources (HR) deal with a number of stressors throughout the day, including organizing employee health benefit information, ensuring worker satisfaction, hiring new staff members and retaining talent within a company.
According to an article in Human Resource Executive Online, a recent survey revealed that keeping important employees in a business is currently the biggest source of stress for people working in HR.
A total of 72 percent of respondents reported an increase in stress levels over the past 18 months, with 32 naming talent retention as their biggest challenge.
Industry Week magazine reports that there are three things organizations can offer to either attract or retain employees.
First, give them the opportunity to develop new skills and experience. Second, the idea of expanding a professional network is often attractive to workers. Lastly, the news source said businesses should encourage continued education for employees.
Considering the amount of stress they're under, HR professionals may significantly benefit from employee wellness programs that provide tips and tools for a healthy lifestyle.
Monday, 05 September 2011 16:00Supervisors often encourage workers to engage in physical activity, eat a balanced diet and take advantage of their vacation days in an effort to reduce workplace stress. Additionally, research has shown that after-hours hobbies may be another way to decrease anxiety in employees.
An article in the Miami Herald reports that hobbies can reduce stress, alleviate high blood pressure and stimulate creativity in workers.
“No matter how good you are, no matter how intense you are and no matter how much you enjoy your job, stepping away relaxes the mind and gives you a new perspective," said Jim Bird, CEO of Atlanta-based worklifebalance.com, quoted by the news source.
Whether the hobby is running, gardening, playing a musical instrument or collecting an item, individuals should make time for their after-hours activities the way they would schedule in work-related tasks, according to the news source.
An article on the Mayo Clinic's website reports that having a hobby can also boost self-esteem and give workers a sense of accomplishment.
Encouraging hobbies, like a company softball team or planning group outings, may be an effective complement to an employee wellness program. Initiatives that provide tools and resources for stress management have been shown to be effective in improving employee performance and reducing costs stemming from employee health benefits.
Monday, 29 August 2011 16:00Intense stress on the job may cause workers to engage in unhealthy habits, such as drinking, smoking or overeating. Additionally, anxiety is known to induce many physiological ramifications, which may lead to a compromised cardiovascular system.
An article on TheHeart.org cited a number of studies which point to an increased risk of heart and blood pressure problems for employees who are overly stressed at work.
One study from Finland involved public sector employees that worked at least three hours of overtime each day. They were found to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease when compared to their counterparts who worked standard eight-hour days, according to the news source.
Another trial conducted in Italy showed that 78 percent of men who were relatively anger- and stress-free avoided a heart attack over a 10-year period, compared to 57 percent of men who reported having anxiety and anger issues.
Harvard Women's Health Watch has reported that women in high-stress jobs have a 40 percent increased risk of heart disease, compared to females who did not experience workplace stress.
These findings underscore the importance of employee wellness programs, which provide tools and resources for stress management in an effort to improve staff health, strengthen employee performance and lower costs stemming from health insurance.
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