Healthcare work is stressful, say nurses

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 08 Jun 2003


PENANG: Working in the healthcare sector is extremely stressful, according to senior nurses and other healthcare support staff.  

Speaking at a seminar entitled, “Emotional Intelligence in Health Leadership,” they said among the root causes of stress were increased workload because of staff shortage, ever-increasing patients’ expectations and keeping up with advances in medical technology. 

The 28 participants, most of whom were nurses at the supervisory level, said they were also stressed out because of their subordinates’ sub-standard performance. 

Seminar facilitator Dr Chris Skinner of Edith Cowan University Australia said health leaders must be able to manage emotions to handle stress and provide appropriate responses to problem situations. 

The half-day seminar was organised by the Malay Chamber of Commerce (DPM) Disted Sowers Sdn Bhd at their premises in Jalan Macalister yesterday. 

“Health leaders need to understand emotions because these provide information on what makes people tick. 

“They must be able to use emotions created by the situation to diagnose and solve the underlying problems,” he said, adding relationship skills were important to deliver effective healthcare services. 

He said health leaders needed to relate effectively with others and understand others, apart from understanding themselves. 

“Leadership style and behaviour and personality (whether the person is an extrovert, emotionally stable, conscientious, agreeable or open) do have an effect on the outcome of the service,” he said. 

Knowing one’s emotions, managing emotions, motivating oneself, recognising emotions in others and handling relationships were part and parcel of emotional intelligence, he added. 

Health leaders could improve their skills and knowledge in those areas through reading and open discussions, he said.  

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