chapter  4
70 Pages

The World of Work: Its Environment

The health-care work environment is especially fast-paced and is becoming even more so. Workloads for nursing personnel have multiplied. Important features of the work environment are its physical aspects, facilities and equipment, job characteristics, and, the organization of working time. Not only must nurses contend with a stressful physical work environment, but the same label may be affixed to their psychosocial climate as well. Stress, one of a group of psychosocial risks, according to the European Risk Observatory, is a most prominent health and safety challenge resulting from interaction between an individual and the environment. Stress has a detrimental impact on the individual's health when it is protracted over time, meaning it can lead to emotional exhaustion or burnout, a major risk and common problem for health-care professionals and particularly, nurses. Job insecurity is another element that impinges on the psychosocial environment at nurses' place of work.