The Psychological Effects of Working In A Hospital For More Than 10 Years

May 16, 2017

Have you been to the hospital lately? That nurse that took your blood, he/she will probably work at least 12 hours during their shift. They will work three to four days for extended hours under some of the most extreme pressure ever known. Not only do they need to take your blood and help you get tests run, but they are the doctor’s right hand. What about the doctor? They see an average of 20 patients a day for 210 days out of the year. That is a total of 1,400 patients annually.

It’s impossible to remember all the detailed information important to your case, so they rely on their support staff. The medical field is stressful. However, it is growing leaps and bounds. How does a person make it in the hospital setting for more than 10 years without major issues? Most medical workers would tell you that they are stressed out, they have brain fog on some days and are fatigued most of the time. Their passion for helping others takes a toll on their own health. Yet, they go back day after day to a job that they love. 


Occupation Stress Is No Laughing Matter 

Occupational stress is one of the biggest causes of burnout among hospital workers, especially those who have been there for more than 10 years. Due to long hours and demanding situations, it takes a toll on the worker. According to a physician’s survey conducted in 2011, most hospitals have a turnover of 12.6 percent in their nurse practitioners and physician assistants each year. When it comes to physicians, they have a turnover rate of just over six percent. Why is the most popular career field met with so many challenges? (

The Effects of Mental Pressure

While some of these workers seem invincible, the fact is that they are often fighting their own medical battles both mentally and physically. The brain is a delicate organ filled with chemicals and electrical components. It can absorb massive amounts of information and utilize that data in the job world. Unfortunately, when a person works in the health care industry, specifically a hospital, they will find that their mind can become quite tired from all the demands of their job. 

Health care workers face high turnover rates, a drop in productivity, and an increase in sick days. Those who make it beyond the 10-year point are strong both mentally and physically. They are under mental pressure from the beginning to end of their shifts. Such intense strain can cause major issues for any medical worker. To make it any length of time in the medical field requires a worker to consider their own health. 

Why Anxiety Is Always Close by?

When the body is constantly in the “fight or flight” mode, anxiety is commonplace. Anxiety can cause all sorts of problems. One of the biggest issues is that blood pressure increases under stress. Heighten blood pressure levels allow a person to be more susceptible to heart attacks and stroke. Imagine working every day not knowing whether a patient would die on your shift? Staring death right in the face, constantly, takes its toll. 

Anxiety doesn’t immediately cause a heart attack or stroke, but it can cause all sorts of other problems. Health care workers try to compensate for their anxious feelings. They may smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or overeat. They try to combat their stress by comforting the body with some device. Seven out of 10 Americans take anti-depressant medications, and many of those people are health care workers. The cost of helping you with your medical battles costs them their own health. Is the physiatrist salary worth it? 


Atmospheric Pressures

A hospital is a place for sick people. No one comes to the hospital when they are well. They are either there for a stay during an illness or they come there to have tests run. The atmosphere is not the best. It’s all about sickness and death. Dealing with these situations day in and day out can be quite overwhelming. Imagine going to work every day and being surrounded by infirmity. 

Sure, patients pass a few kind words and some smiles along the way, but the gravity of the situation is ever present. Whether a nurse, doctors, medical assistant or Phlebotomist, the stress and the magnitude of their job can be overwhelming. It is easy to become wrapped up in the depressive nature of the patients. 

De-Stressing Is a Must

In a hospital, the doors never close. Time with friends and family is lax because the demands of the job are ever present. There’s always call-offs and an overabundance of patients to attend to. Regardless of what position one holds in a medical center, the threat of danger is always present. To make it any length of time in a hospital setting, workers must learn how to de-stress. Stress-management becomes an important part of daily life.

De-stressing techniques should be utilized to ensure that the pressure from a fast-paced work environment can be overcome. One of the best ways is through exercise. Physical activity raises the serotonin levels, which will boost mental clarity and mood. Exercising forces deep breathing that allow the body to release stress and anxieties. Those who have made it any length of time in a face-paced hospital setting have learned appropriate ways to deal with their stress.


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