In every work environment, stress results from any physical, emotional, economic, social and other factors that need a change or response. In some cases, experts believe that stress is okay, especially in the situations whereby it becomes a challenge or "positive stress." When stress occurs in amounts that one cannot control, it may interfere with both physical and mental health of the workers. Workplace stress, therefore, refers to the harmful emotional and physical responses that occur in cases where there are conflicts between the job demand and the amount of control that a worker or an employee has over meeting the demands. Consequently, the low amount of control over a situation and the demands of a job often lead to stress (Brown et al., 2013). The origins of stress in the work environment are diverse or some cases, it may come from one single source. Stress can impact on both employees and employers alike. Some of the causes of workplaces stress especially in the nursing profession include layoffs due to an uncertain economy, job redundancy, and increased demands for overtime work due to the reduction in the number of workers. Workers who begin to feel the pressure to perform can find themselves struggling to perform with no job satisfaction. The persistent requirement to operate at optimum performance may make the job boring, a situation that may lead to workplace stress. The workplace stress can, therefore, result in reduced efficiency and turnover, illnesses and even death. Alcoholism, absenteeism, petty politics and wrong decisions may results when an individual operate under pressure. Workplace stress is a common phenomenon that occurs to the caregivers both working in the public and private health institutions. The paper, therefore, discusses how workplace stress and caregivers are relevant to each other.
A high proportion of caregivers often provide care to the older adults especially in the United States of America. The above form of care may particularly become intensive in term of tasks and time commitment, a situation that often leads to workplace stress. With much commitment to the patients, the caregivers cannot find time to carry on with other activities that are essential for human growth. The demands for the assistance of older adults are on the verge of increase and with the currently few numbers of caregivers, the workplace stress is likely to increase. In most cases, it is well established that giving informal care often come with consequences to the caregiver since most of the caregivers are at increased risk of distress and burden, i.e. they may be faced with depressing situations and anxiety (Swanson, 2012). Caregiver characteristics and caregiving-related characteristics are associated with the caregiver's emotional and physical responses towards the responsibility assigned to them. With numerous responsibilities and the pressure to perform to the expectations of the client or an organization, the caregivers often face tuff decisions leading to depressions, emotional stress, and anxiety.
Workplace stress is common to every caregiver, with pressure to deliver and care for the older adults as well as other patients; caregivers often find little time to spend in other social activities. The increasing number of the older adults may also overwhelm the caregivers, a situation that may lead to stress characterized by depression and anxiety. Many studies, however, shows that caregivers are mostly faced with stressful situations amidst the increasing number of older adults who needs a lot of attention from the caregivers. Therefore, the caregiving-related changes in the work environment may negatively influence the resource reserve, a situation which may lead to greater stress. Additionally, the studies about the working parent reveal that there is always a quarrel in the work-family balance which poses adverse effects on the caregiver's psychological health probably due to the differences in the expectations of gender roles. Caregivers often apply the knowledge of Transcultural nursing to ensure the provision of culturally suitable care to different patients with diverse medical complications, in these cases; the challenges often arise thereby giving caregivers hard time to efficiently perform their duties. In every hospital, there are always diverse patients from different cultural backgrounds and in most cases; the medical professionals have to adopt unique styles on how to advise them. Communication barrier often become a problem in most healthcare settings and nurses or other caregivers have to adopt diverse methods of relaying information. With numerous issues in Transcultural nursing, caregivers may experience depression, anxiety and other related disorders leading to stress. The main focus of Transcultural nursing is the diversity that exists between cultural groups that often forces care providers to recognize the culture-specific illnesses and health conditions.
The workplace stress and caregivers are relevant to each other in that the physical demands of caregivers often are often stressful. In most cases, stress is common with every caregiver. Day to day caregiving is full of physical, emotional and mental stressors including alternating shifts or rosters, long hours of work and frequent bending and lifting. Caregivers working through the night may suffer from disruption of natural circadian rhythms which can expose them to illnesses. On the other hand, caregivers are often exposed to infections and toxic substances on various occasions. A lot of responsibilities often come with the processes involves care giving. There are clients whose expectations are so high that the caregivers often find a hard time in meeting these burdens. The actions of providing quality care and upholding justice should be employed daily to ensure services are provided professionally. Quality care is employed by giving the best care to the patients at all time and avoiding delays when attending to patients (Dillenburger & McKerr, 2011). Similarly, justice is employed by treating all patients equally, for instance, the first patient in the queue should be served first rather than serving the last client first. The order of service delivery should always be done without altering the arrangement and resistance to coercion. Observing the above factors may expose caregivers to the stressful situations thereby increasing their chances of mental illnesses. Observing values and ethics involved in caregiving have great impacts on the caregivers. The values will give the sense of commitment to the work and discharge of duties. Personal ethics and values are important in the relationship between the caregiver and the patients and also relationship among the caregivers while discharging their duties. Christian caregivers should operate in a professional manner by preserving Christian values such as love, honesty, and mercy. Christian caregivers should give the best care to patients by loving them and being kind at the same time.
Caregiving is emotionally draining. When combined with other diverse interpersonal relationships that usually occur in the work environments, caregiving can become a catalyst of stress for many caregivers. Some of the common tragic situations in caregiving include communicating with a person who is dying. Such cases usually lead to emotional situations among the caregivers. Additionally, caregivers often face aggressive or violent patients which lead to high chances of developing stress. On the other hand, when the caregivers adhere to the cultural requirements, the patients will become more comfortable with the services offered in a given medical facility (Leggett et al., 2010). The patients will also feel more contented when the medical professionals apply the alternative communication styles in cases where they do not understand the common language in use. Although caregiving may become emotionally draining, respecting one's culture is one way of enabling patients to gain confidence in the medical services offered in a given medical facility. Reaching out to patients without discriminating them based on the cultural origin is one way of reducing anxiety. Socialization is one of the best tools for controlling distress. Talking to the patients preferably face to face can increase the understanding and effective treatment procedures. One is able to get suitable treatment while ensuring the strong cultural connection.
For a long period of time, caregiving has been regarded as the most stressful profession. The roles of the caregiver are often marred by the suffering and emotional demands of families and patients, interpersonal relationships as well as physical labor. There are also the interprofessional and interprofessional conflicts and other stressors central to the work that caregivers discharge. Some of the factors that have contributed to increasing the workplace stress among the caregivers include increasing workloads and constant changes in the healthcare organization and the general healthcare environment. Different research findings support the idea that the pressures related to caregiving and the healthcare setting results into significant increase in stress levels among the caregivers. Over the past decades, caregivers have persistently recorded the highest levels of job stress among other healthcare professionals (Bevans & Sternberg, 2012). Studies have consistently proved that caregivers overworking as exhibited by the caregivers are the major cause of stress in the healthcare profession. On the other hand, medical professional ethics require that caregivers should stick to the ethical values in making their decisions. Some of the ethical decisions or values that the medical staff member will make that do not align to the educational policy include administering medical services to the patients without their consents in cases where they cannot express their requirements due to lack of effective communication. The patient education policies usually require all the patients to agree to the terms of treatment by signing consents based on the treatment methods to be used by the medical practitioners. In some cases, the nurses may not adhere to some cultural beliefs of some patients due to the nature of illnesses, when patients require immediate attention; the nonverbal communication may not be effective the medical professionals will perform their duties even without the attention of the patient.
In conclusion, the workplace stressors commonly experienced by caregivers include emotional stress brought about by high demands from the patients, long duration of work including night shifts and physical responsibilities. Additionally, increasing workloads and constant changes in the healthcare organization and the general healthcare environment exposes caregivers to stressful situations. Different research findings support the idea that the pressures related to caregiving and the healthcare setting results into significant increase in stress levels among the caregivers. The caregivers should, therefore, adopt a new mechanism to eliminate stressors and ensure that they discharge their duties comfortably.
Bevans, M., & Sternberg, E. M. (2012). Caregiving burden, stress, and health effects among family caregivers of adult cancer patients. Jama, 307(4), 398-403.
Brown, J. M., Kitson, A. L., & McKnight, T. J. (2013). Challenges in caring: explorations innursing andethics. Springer.
Dillenburger, K., & McKerr, L. (2011). 'How long are we able to go on?'Issues faced by older family caregivers of adults with disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39(1), 29-38.
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