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Adrianne Behning

on 5 December 2013

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Transcript of Stress:

Why Should We Care?
Who Cares for the Caretakers?:
Doctors, Nurses and Stress

What is Stress?
Important Aspects
of Care
How Does This

Keren Mazuz “Folding Paper Swans”
Like the Filipino caretakers, doctors and nurses are revalidating their personhood by participating in activities that highlight the creative aspects of their lives.

"From the minute I wake up to the moment I go to sleep I am caring for others. I have positive relationships with patients and enjoy making their lives better in any way I can- being a nurse lets me do that."
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, there were over 4.9 million Physicians, Nurses and Nursing Assistants in the United States.

The roles of doctors and nurses are stressful for reasons that can include:
Physical labor
Human suffering
Long and varying work hours
Staffing shortages
Interpersonal relationships

"I prefer to provide care that goes above and beyond what is necessary. When we are short staffed, I am unable to do that."
"After 12-hours of caring for every aspect of my patients' well-being, I come home and am too exhausted to care for any aspect of my own."
What Can We
Learn From This?
What can be changed?


Work Environment

Goal Alignment
"Acute (sudden or short-term) stress leads to rapid changes throughout the body. Almost all body systems gear up to meet perceived danger:
Heart and blood vessels
Immune system
Digestive system
Sensory organs

These stress responses could prove beneficial in a critical, life-or-death situation. Over time, however, repeated stressful situations put a strain on the body that may contribute to physical and psychological problems."

Source: Stress | University of Maryland Medical Center
Making the News...
Our Subjects
Our focus is on skilled, hospital-based caretakers, specifically doctors and nurses
We Interviewed:
a Pediatrician
a GI Laboratory Nurse
an ICU Nurse
a Neurosurgery Nurse
Stressed out doctors and nurses
are more likely to:

Do you want
care provider to be stressed out or calm and collected?
All of our subjects reported:
Negative physical symptoms
Difficulties balancing home and work
Personal mechanisms for stress relief
Coping mechanisms improve over time

Our subjects are not all the same
Roles at home influence roles at work
Some people thrive on what others consider stressful
Families of multiple health professionals cope together
Early-career coping needs improvement
-Neurosurgery Nurse
aspect of care
aspect of care
aspect of care
aspect of care
Emotional Labor
doctors and nurses are required to leave personal issues out of the workplace
must keep pleasant demeanor despite high stress or demands of patients
All Tie In?
make mistakes
get sick more often
report job dissatisfaction
change jobs
suffer from depression
Our Questions
We asked them to:

define what mild, moderate and extremely stressful days at work are like for them.

identify specific sources of stress at work.

explain the effects stress has upon them.

describe their stress release techniques.

assess healthfulness of their coping mechanisms.

identify ways to make their jobs less stressful
-ICU Nurse
"When good relationships are
maintained between doctors and nurses
it makes your job so much easier"
Each of our healthcare workers emphasized how important it is to be able to 'debrief', or to talk about their stressors with someone they feel understands, like a co-worker or spouse.
Stress on the Body
Even experienced professionals need to make conscious efforts to relieve stress before problems occur.
People working in the same career can have different perceptions and reactions to stress
Coping mechanisms are highly individual. Find what works for you and stick with it.
Those we interviewed reported the best coping mechanism is conversation.
-GI Lab Nurse
Emotional Labor
Hochschild's “The Managed Heart:Commercialization of Human Feeling”
Like flight attendants, nurses and doctors must maintain emotional boundaries at work. Being caring and nurturing is expected. Personal conflicts or emotions are concealed.
Full transcript