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Occupational Stress Essay

991 words - 4 pages

Within the human services occupational stress is rampant and can crucially impact one’s job performance. According to Fritz, Ellis, Demsky, Lin and Guros in “Embracing Work Breaks: Recovering from Work Stress” (2013) “ reports from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (indicate) as many as 40% or U.S. employees report their jobs as being ‘very or extremely’ stressful”. Those who work in the human services are especially susceptible to occupational stress because of the nature of the work environment. Human service employees often work directly with troubled clients who require extensive time, attention, and resources that may not always be readily available, thus causing ...view middle of the document...

The article “Embracing Work Breaks: Recovering from Work Stress” described the benefits of work breaks, including time off of work and time taken during work, have on the overall health and performance of the employee (Fritz et al., 2012). This article explains factors related to break time and the importance of each on the recovery process. Work breaks are essential to the recovery process, however different methods work for different people. This particular article outlines methods including evenings, weekends, vacations, and breaks during work. It is also important to note that in order to recover during these break times other stressors must be also be absent. Experiencing personal stressors during work breaks can lead to a more burned out response upon return to work.
Astvik and Melin ( 2013) explore coping strategies among human service workers who experience high work demands and low resources. It was also found that social workers have a particularly high turnover rate assumed to be related to the increased occupational stress incurred and the corresponding depression, but actually reported to be because of lack of supervisory attention to employee health and wellbeing. For this study workers were grouped into three categories: compensatory and quality reducing group which used personal and break time to continue working more intensely as well as asking for prioritization from supervisors, self-supporting group with the fewest strategies did not ask for help from coworkers or ask for prioritization from supervisors, and voice and support seeking group which turned to coworkers for advice and help as well as asked for prioritization (Astvik and Melin, 2013).
Trinade, Lautert, and Beck (2009) found that “burned out workers predominantly used
individual mechanisms to cope with occupational problems, while non-burned out workers sought collective mechanisms”. This study supports the findings in Astvik and Melin study that co worker relationships and help when burdened contribute to lower stress and burn out. This study also found that it was not the work itself that caused burnout, the work provides satisfaction of helping others.

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