Reducing Stress among Healthcare Workers

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Healthcare workers especially nurse and physicians are more likely to experience work related stress. They also suffer the consequent biological and psychological effects of stress. This is as a result of lack of adequate training, resources, time restraints, poor social supports among staff members and high expectations associated with their work (Burton et al., 2017). Various strategies have been developed to reduce stress among healthcare workers. These strategies are very important in reducing burnout among healthcare professionals. This paper aims to define preventive strategies for reducing stress among healthcare workers using the Health people 2020.In addition, the paper looks into g a practical policy for preventive services, primary healthcare plan, preventive healthcare program and a health problem.

Health Problem

The health problem chosen for this paper is stress among healthcare workers. The main goal of this plan is to reduce stress and burnout among healthcare workers and increase job satisfaction and their overall wellbeing. This will also improve healthcare outcomes of their patients. The PICOT question for this study is as follows;

For healthcare workers (P), how effective is Healthy People 2020 guidelines (Intervention) as compared to providing training (Comparisons) in reducing work related stress (outcome) within three months (T)?

Practical Policy for Preventive Services

The following are the goals of healthcare workers in reducing stress as outlined by the Healthy 2020 guidelines. To increase the number of healthcare professionals who enroll in training and development programs. To provide exercise programs in healthcare facilities to encourage more health workers to engage in practical exercises. In addition, other goals include increasing health literacy skill, building networks for social support, supporting shared decisions making between providers and patients and improving communication in the healthcare system. These goals will go a long way in helping to reduce work related stress among healthcare workers.


Preventing physical stressors

The workplace environment for healthcare workers is characterized by potential physical stressors including working for long hours, noisy work environment, and changeable shifts and frequent bending and lifting. Healthy professional working in nightshifts may also face disruptions to their circadian rhythms resulting to illness. In addition many healthcare workers face toxic substances and infections on a regular basis. The anxiety that they may get an infection also increases stress in the workplace. In addition, with the aging workforce among healthcare professionals, most of them are not physical resilient as compared to when they were younger. Healthcare providers should provide adequate protective equipment to healthcare workers to ensure that they are confident when attending to patients without worrying of getting infected (Cocker & Joss, 2016).

Preventing Emotional stressors

Working in the healthcare environment is also emotionally draining. Combined with other social networking issues in the workplace such as families, patients and colleagues could be a significant source of stress. Tragic or difficult situations such as communication with sick individuals or providing palliative care for terminally ill patients can induce stress for healthcare professionals. The increased risk of aggressive and violent patients also presents emotional challenges for healthcare workers. In addition, healthcare workers must balance their work commitments and home life constantly increasing stress. Combining job commitments with quality of life, finances and childcare makes it very challenging. As a result, healthcare providers must ensure staff members work for the required working hours per week to reduce burnout.

Preventing the perception of disempowerment

Most healthcare workers feel that they are excluded from decision making processes in their organization. Multiple studies show that nurse and physicians feel disempowered when it comes to decision making in healthcare facilities. As a result, they feel that their expertise is being compromised by role confusion and poor leadership. Currently, most healthcare facilities are understaffed making their staff members to attend to many patients compromising the quality of care provided. Healthcare professionals are also required to accomplish their tasks with inadequate resources as a result of budgetary constraints. To avoid this king of stress, healthcare management must include healthcare workers in the decision making process.

Steps to Develop Primary Healthcare Plan

Main elements of Prevention

Efforts by all the levels of governments and individuals to reduce stress among healthcare workers have been widely successful but still more needs to be done to increase the efficiency of healthcare workers. This is very critical in ensuring healthcare providers meet the guidelines of Healthy people 2020. Reducing stress among Healthcare professionals could significantly help to increase safety in the workplace and ultimately ensure positive outcomes for patients. The following approaches can help to reduce stress among healthcare workers in the country. The following steps should be included in the plan (Elshaer et al., 2018).

Proactive Behavior by Healthcare workers

Healthcare workers need to be conscious about the issues that lead to stress. They should always conduct their activities in a way that reduces stress associated with working in the highly complex healthcare environment. Healthcare professionals must develop strategies that allow them to effectively ensure work and life balance. This will help them reduce the stress associate with their work.

Improvement of Health system at different government levels

Various activities included in this component include the following. Working closely with healthcare regulatory agencies to ensure healthcare facilities are neither overstaffed nor understaffed. Another activity is providing adequate resources for healthcare workers to conduct their daily duties effectively. Effective strategies should also be developed to improve the healthcare system in all levels. Activities for hazard evaluation at different levels of the government include identifying risks in the healthcare environment. This also involves healthcare providers conducting hazard assessment to be prepared for any stress issues (Mistretta et al., 2018).

Aggressive Surveillance

Activities in this component include the following. First, this involves tracking health workers’ activities within the healthcare system to determine stressors that may affect their optimal operation. Secondly, Surveillance involves identifying issues that cause stress among healthcare professionals both in the workplace and at home. Lastly, surveillance involves evaluating the outcomes of stress among healthcare professionals.


Research is a very important component in developing primary healthcare plan. Activities in this component include providing adequate financial resources to support research, identifying the physical and emotional factors causing stress among healthcare workers and identifying knowledge gaps in existing literature that needs to be filled to improve the welfare of healthcare workers.

Developing effective approached to create awareness

Most healthcare workers are not aware of the things that cause them stress. As a matter of fact some of them develop anxiety and are unable to perform their duties as required. Healthcare providers should offer training programs for their staffs to gain new knowledge on how to avoid stress in their workplace. This could also help them to develop better ways to achieve a work life balance. Providing training and development programs to healthcare workers can also help them to understand themselves better and focus on engaging in activities that promote their overall wellbeing. In addition, this component involves providing information to policy makers to help them come up with policies that can help to reduce stress among healthcare workers.

Evaluation criteria of a primary health plan

Numerous policies have been developed to reduce stress among healthcare professionals. The policies focus on ensuring a positive workplace environment for all healthcare workers to promote their overall wellbeing. The metrics for these policies include ensuring there is enough resources in healthcare system, regulating the time a healthcare providers can work each day and ensuring healthcare providers provide appropriate training to their employees. Professionals have to be aware of the issues that cause then stress and ways to address them. Policies aimed to reducing stress among healthcare workers should also touch on healthcare administrations and social control concepts (Wang et al., 2019).

The healthcare plan can also be evaluated based on the appropriateness of the services provided by healthcare professionals. Some of the services provide are not necessary. However, Healthcare professionals have to provide such inappropriate services just to abide by their organization’s policies. This creates a lot of stress among healthcare professionals as they have to provide quality healthcare services, follow organizational rules and procures while at the same time ensuring optimal use of resources. It is never an easy task to balance these components. In addition, the plan can also be evaluated based on Service effectiveness. Services provided should improve the outcomes of the patients.

Health Education

Multiple studies suggest that providing training to healthcare professionals significantly reduces stress among them. Healthcare professionals work with people…