Work stress has been on the rise in recent years, and certain countries are even reporting high work-related suicides. Research shows that 83% of American workers deal with work stress, and 76% say that it affects their personal relationships. With high expectations, extreme competition, and a lack of support systems, people often deal with work stress alone. While we can’t always avoid work stress, we can certainly be aware of which fields are more prone to it and discover coping strategies to help you overcome those difficult days. In this article, let us explore some of the challenges that make healthcare and customer service extremely stressful.
The Most Stressful Jobs
Perhaps one of the biggest stress factors out there is one’s position within the company. For instance, low-level workers don’t often face the same sort of stress that middle management does. On the other hand, people in management often deal with stress for other reasons than someone in an entry-level position. Needless to say, every organization likely has stressed-out employees. This is particularly the case for those in customer service, call centers, and public relations.
Angry customers, long hours, negative feedback, and constant suppression of emotions make this one of the most stressful fields. Research from Mercer shows that customer service had a turnover rate of 17%. For context, sales had a turnover rate of 14%.
Multiple studies have shown that work stress can cause both physical and psychological trauma to workers. Migraines, sleep disturbances, and weakened immune systems are serious concerns. Similarly, emotional exhaustion, helplessness, and burnout can affect workers psychologically.
Quitting is not always an option, and dealing with the stress every day of the week can be soul-crushing without proper stress management techniques.
Healthcare and Nursing
Even for the most developed societies, medical infrastructure can be wildly expensive. The cost of running medical institutions, training healthcare workers, and the infrastructure costs that go into the field are massive.
We are always going to see some deficit between the availability of medical resources and the need for healthcare. As a result, healthcare is likely to remain one of the most stressful fields out there. Long hours, short staffing, and high-stakes decision-making can drain even the most resilient employees.
When we talk about healthcare workers, we naturally don’t just mean doctors. Nurses have an equally hard time in the field. Even in terms of education, aspiring nurses are bogged down by courses that can often be convoluted.
Bachelor of nursing programs often fail to provide the practical skills needed to handle real situations effectively. This is due to the emphasis on theory over clinical skills.
As a result, more and more people are open to trying an accelerated BSN program online. These programs often cut out a lot of unnecessary theory and focus on intensive clinical experience. It may sound more stressful, but in reality, not having practical skills becomes the bigger stressor.
Marymount University states that such programs provide nurses with the flexibility to deal with their other responsibilities. This can make things a little more manageable. That’s true. However, it doesn’t change the fact that healthcare and nursing are still one of the most challenging fields out there.
Some People Can Manage Stress More Effectively: Can You?
Even if you decide to move on to another position due to the stress levels of your current one, work stress is often unavoidable no matter where you work or what you do for work. As such, you want to ensure that you can tough things out if it gets bad, no matter your position. This can best be achieved through sincere self-reflection and stress management techniques.
Some key factors you’ll want to focus on incorporating into your daily stress management include emotional resilience, conflict resolution, time management and self-care practices.
10 Tips For Handling Work Stress More Effectively
Developing a set of stress management skills is something everyone should learn. This is especially important for those in the healthcare and customer service sectors. Here are ten ways you can do so:
- Learn to set boundaries with colleagues or those who contribute to stress.
- Improve your organization skills. A cluttered mind is known to exacerbate stress.
- Remember not to take things personally.
- Take time to relax and do so without feeling guilty.
- Consider speaking to a therapist to have someone to talk to.
- Working out can be a great outlet for anger and frustration.
- Stay away from revenge procrastination.
- Prioritize your sleep.
- Diving into stoicism and philosophy can give you perspective on how little our stressors really matter.
- It’s the minor troubles that affect us more than anything else. Try to focus on the big picture of your life and career.
- Write down everything you can’t control and cross them out. Focus your energy on the items remaining.
- Practice breathing techniques to help you remain calm in stressful situations.
- Start using an anxiety journal to release anxious thoughts related to work.
Hopefully, these tips can help you gain some much-needed perspective and deal with challenges as they arise.
As long as one has to work for a living, there will be a certain degree of stress. There is no escaping this reality. A few may get lucky and enjoy their careers, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Careers like nursing and customer service are notorious for being difficult to handle.
Choosing to pursue them requires you to understand the mental toll they can have. If you have the coping mechanisms to deal with stress and a drive to succeed, you will be able to do any career you desire. Despite being stressful, there can be a certain satisfaction that some enjoy from overcoming difficult challenges.
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