How Do Doctors Relieve Stress After A Long Shift?

Does Stress Have Any Physical Effects?
August 27, 2018
What Would Cause Sudden Knee Weakness Without Pain?
August 28, 2018
Show all

How Do Doctors Relieve Stress After A Long Shift?

After the investigation of a firm specialized in the prevention of stress and psychosocial risks ( RPS ), one wonders about the “boxes” in which to rank the burn out: occupational disease? Major depressive state disguised? Overload pathology?

While it is clear to industry professionals that this syndrome needs to be recognized as an occupational disease, classifying it in one category rather than another seems more complex.

Indeed, today we speak of burnout as a “pathology of overload”, a name already used to categorize several issues related to physical or mental health:

  • pathologies of overload of the psychological functioning (disorders of the concentration, anxiety, traumatic neurosis),
  • Organic (TMS, Karoshi in Japan)
  • and drive (sabotage, suicide, banalization of evil).
Making of
Adrien Chignard is a psychologist and specializes in psychosocial risks and burnout. Rue89

Burnout would thus be a pathology of psychological overload to the extent that according to Freudenberger , it would be “a state cause? by the excessive use of one’s energy, one’s resources, which causes a feeling of having failed, being exhausted or being exhausted “.

The loss of meaning at work

However, when we observe the cocktail of organizational risk factors that precipitate burn out ( Maslach ), these are the six following factors:

  • the overload work;
  • the lack of control  ;
  • the insufficiency of the payments  ;
  • the collapse of the collective feeling;
  • the shortcomings of justice and conflict of values.

If we look closely at these six factors, we find that they share a common characteristic: the precipitation of meaninglessness at work.

Thus, the excessive use of its energy and resources would indeed be present but would have a role, a function: to maintain the sense of what is achieved in the work situation, despite the degradation of the meaning of what is produced and the lack of shared management in which this leads the employee (the double definition of meaning as meaning and direction).

It would therefore appear that burnout is certainly a pathology of overload but an overload due to a need to restore the meaning of work.

“More dead time, we go on”

In order to illustrate this point, let’s take a closer look at what can be played out for a company occupational physician with regard to the six Maslach factors.

As Professor Levy Leboyer explains , the vocational choices of individuals respond to certain influences external to the individual, but also to his or her personality characteristics. This is why we find mostly in a profession individuals who share similar characteristics of personality and values.

For an occupational physician, the dimensions of caring for others, of caring, of protecting employees in their physical and mental health, but also of regulating stress and conflicts at work, are generally elements that make sense for him, insofar as it recognizes itself and is defined by / in the latter.

In recent years, however, occupational health physicians have been faced with rising daily demands. It’s no longer just about annual medical check-ups and meeting the employer’s obligations. It is also necessary to support the company in the prevention of psychosocial risks, to participate in the ergonomic studies of the positions, to answer the requests of the employees on the issues of suffering at work and to report very regularly on its activity like a traditional framework.

Agnes [the names have been changed] explains it with a strong emotional charge in her voice:

“We went from a medical activity to an activity that must be objectified and objectifiable. To listen, prevent and take care, it takes time. We do not have any more dead time, so we make the appointments in almost automatic mode. We are used to the load, but when it forces us to degrade the quality of our work, it becomes problematic. “

“Before, I knew what to expect in the morning”

The lack of control over the activity is linked to the increase in the workload. With the economic crisis, the intensification of work rhythms and issues related to psychosocial risks, the company’s occupational physician is sometimes over-solicited, without being able to predict what his day will be.

In companies experiencing reorganizations or downsizing, the volume of appointments outside traditional medical visits is exploding and deeply disrupts schedules:

“Before I knew what to expect when I arrived in the morning. Since the announcement of the reorganization, I have at least one to two hours of appointment more per day because employees are worried and some find themselves in very strong anxiety situations. To work on substantive topics, I no longer control my schedule, it’s him who controls me and it’s the world upside down. “

The recognition of the occupational physician in the workplace is also subject to questioning. Function of the shadow, it is often requested only when it malfunctions. Just like maintenance services in the industry, it is considered that if all goes well, it is not for nothing but, when the machine jams, he did not do his job.

Often alone to dispose of his competence, he does not have access to the recognition that makes the most sense for the employee: the judgment of beauty by peers. Agnes testifies:

“Who can recognize my work in my box? We do not know what I am doing and I do not have a colleague doctor to share about my interviews. I sometimes feel like an after-sales service: we just get rid of his anger but when I solve problems we consider that we do not have to say thank you, it’s my job. “

“It’s frowned upon to talk to the doctor”

The support of colleagues involves the creation of a collective work. Collectives of work are built above all by sharing a single profession. Only to have its competence in the majority of companies that have a salaried doctor, the doctor is difficult to assimilate to other functions even “support” (HR, quality, management control …).

While his profession still has a “esprit de corps” but it exists especially outside the company and not at the heart of it, and therefore not everyday.

Moreover, individualization at work through the individual assessment of performance does not facilitate the emergence or durability of strong work collectives as explained by Nicolas:

” I’m all alone. I have colleagues but nobody who can help me concretely in case of difficulty with my job. I even knew a box where it was bad to talk with the doctor at the break, we passed for a weak. “

In salaried salaried doctors, the feeling of injustice is sometimes polymorphic. Beyond the feeling of injustice generated by the lack of recognition, it is the so-called procedural injustice which is the most important (we know today that it is the form of injustice that makes the most “bad” to health) as Catherine says:

“I’m told that I have to be evaluated on my performances as a lambda frame, I find it unfair to want to evaluate my results as I receive every day suffering people off annual visit and that it is not counted in my goals. I have to do what ? Say no if it goes beyond my goals, refuse to help to get my bonus? It does not make sense ! “

The last factor of Maslach is certainly the most deleterious for health: the conflict of values.

One does not become a job doctor by chance, the coherence between his activity and his values ​​is paramount. As Agnes testifies:

“What prevents me from sleeping and feeling serene is when I am asked to approve what I disapprove, when I am asked to say that the 3 * 8 shift will have little impact on health, when it is explained to me that if I make waves we risk sacrificing jobs. It makes me wonder why I’m doing this job. As if my opinion could destroy the job. “

How to support without being supported?

To take a closer look, the six accelerating factors of burn-out may be present for salaried occupational physicians. These six factors clash with the need to find a meaning that allows the individual to be consistent with himself in the exercise of his profession.

This situation quickly becoming painful for him, he will mobilize his internal and external resources to restore the meaning of his job. It will produce more and more effort to defeat what consumes the meaning of what it does, but the “system” in which it strives to adapt seems too complex and to evolve quickly and too far from his concerns to take note of it.

It is there that exhaustion is born, when he tries to over-adapt himself to preserve the meaning of what he does on a daily basis and the direction in which his job takes him: how to sustain without having enough time to to listen? How to maintain motivation with little recognition? How to support without feeling supported? How to maintain the good posture when one is myself in a delicate situation? How to find meaning in his work when his content no longer resonates with his own values?

The example of the occupational physician is an illustration but it could be just as suitable for other professions: caregiver, teacher, business leaders, executives, farmers … Yes, burnout is a pathology of psychological overload, but it is a pathology of overload by search of meaning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *