How stress affects the operation of paramedics

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Literature Review

Stress has been found to heavily affect the level of employee output. Stress and its resultant burn out have especially been found to negatively affect the operation of paramedics and their level of job of satisfaction (Nirel et al. 2008; Blau et al. 2011). A 2002 research study done to follow up the health and stress in the Ambulance Services Victoria indicated the main causes of stress among paramedics in the unit to include issues that pose as a hazard to their personal safety and having to watch a colleague in serious pain or injury, or to witness his death. The level of stress was however found to have decreased as compared to that of 1993. The study that involved 52% of the Metropolitan Ambulance Service and Rural Ambulance Service’s paramedics indicated an improvement in stress management among the paramedics since 1993 (Robinson 2002).

Qualitative studies have identified the nature of the job (that entailing helping others and saving lives), passion, variety and to some, the pay and associated benefits as being the main motivations into taking up the paramedics career (Nirel et al. 2008; Vettor & Kosinski 2000). The main pressures that arises in undertaking of the paramedics’ roles include the low level of support from the top management, long working hours with lots of time spent at work hence very little time left to attend to family and personal issues A further issues is demoralizing compensation that includes a low pay as compared to the amount and complexity of work done (Nirel et al. 2008; Blau et al. 2011).

Studies conducted have identified workload, poor health, burnout and stress as being the greatest contributors of job dissatisfaction among paramedics. Paramedics are at a high risk of stress and burn outs as their job exposes them to stressful situations and tragedies that include injuries, death and harsh working environments. These highly results into emotional and psychological exhaustion (Vicki et al. 2005), factors that result into stress and burn out, which in turn leads to an increase in rates of resignations, poor work attendance and demoralization (Vettor & Kosinski 2000 ).

Previously, no qualitative research had focused on the use of projection methods to fore cast the possibility of paramedics and Emergency Medi.............


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