A guide to stress and better habits for Healthcare Workers

If you face stress in the healthcare field you are not alone. Unfortunately, surveys have shown that 69% of healthcare respondents said they “feel stressed in their current jobs”. Further, according to the CDC, studies indicate health care workers have higher rates of substance abuse and suicide than other professions and elevated rates of depression and anxiety linked to job stress.

These studies are concerning; however, we strive to provide our employees with the support they need. Many general hospitals have excessive doctor to patient ratios; many times at no fault of their own. However, studies have found that military hospitals and facilities report below-average doctor to patient ratios, which alleviates stress and allows for better patient care.

Nonetheless, stress both at and away from the workplace can overwhelm us and negatively affect our personal and professional life. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) they define occupational stress as “the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.” The CDC states the potential adverse health effects of occupational stress:

  • Psychological (irritability, job dissatisfaction, depression)
  • Behavioral (sleep problems, absenteeism)
  • Physical (headache, upset stomach, changes in blood pressure)
  • An acute traumatic event could cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Although these adverse effects are undesired, there are coping, management and avoidance techniques also recommended. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following:

  • Get Active
  • Eat a Healthy Diet
  • Avoid Unhealthy Habits
  • Meditate
  • Laugh
  • Connect with Others
  • Assert Yourself
  • Yoga
  • Improving Sleep
  • Journaling
  • Creative Hobbies/Arts
  • Counseling

Although many of us, especially as healthcare professionals, know our stressors, it is good also to set effective habits. In fact, Charles Duhigg, renowned author, reporter and productivity expert states ‘40% to 45% of what we do is actually habit’

Some tips on setting forth habits include:

  1. Start with a “Tiny Habit” and build it into a larger one
  2. Set a trigger/rhythm for the habit
  3. Stay positive and celebrate your time focusing on your habit

Lastly, don’t forget that the harder the behavior, the more motivation you need!

If you, or someone you know, are looking for any medical healthcare position please refer them to visit our open positions and/or reach out to Marilou Lopez at mlopez@giacare.com or (210) 319-4154 in recruitment.



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