Exposure to Stress: Occupational Hazards in Hospitals

Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Publication No. 2008-136, July 2008

Occupational stress has been a long-standing concern of the health care industry. Studies indicate that health care workers have higher rates of substance abuse and suicide than other professions and elevated rates of depression and anxiety linked to job stress. In addition to psychological distress, other outcomes of job stress include burnout, absenteeism, employee intent to leave, reduced patient satisfaction, and diagnosis and treatment errors.

The purpose of this brochure is to
• identify the sources of occupational stress
• identify the adverse health effects of occupational stress
• recommend work practices to reduce occupational stress

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