Factors affecting Building Resilience to Occupational Stress among Health care workers in Two hospitals in Eastern Uganda

Shakiro Justine (shaky.just@gmail.com)
master of science in Hospital Management, Uganda Martyrs University
August, 2015
iam a female Ugandan with a master of science in Hospital management Uganda Martyrs University -Nkozi
i come on board with a diploma in clinical medicine and community health with a BSC in Human Nutrition in dietetics. I have served in the position of management in the health setting for seven years . currently i serve in Bududa District as ahealth unit manager


Introduction: the study sought to understand the factors that affect building resilience to occupational stress among health care workers in Salem private not for profit and Bududa public hospital

Study Aim : To explore the individual , interpersonal, institutional (organisational) , community and public factors that affect building resilience to occupational stress among health care workers in Salem hospital ( PNFP) and Bududa Public hospitals so as to come up with better strategies that can strength building resilience to occupational stress for improved quality health care service delivery

Back Ground: Health care workers commonly experience high levels of occupational stress with negative consequences on their physical and psychological health organisational and community service delivery. Strategies to enhance building resilience to occupational stress do exist however occupational stress threatens to be an epidemic by 2020. There are individual interpersonal organisational, community and policy factors that affect building resilience to occupational stress. Minimal research studies had been conducted in the western and metropolitan setting and while in low developed countries like Uganda and in the rural setting less was done on what affects building resilience to occupational stress.

Method: The study employed the explorative case study approach that involved two focus group discussions of 12 participants which include the registered midwife, register nurse heads of in and out patient departments , clinical officer or doctor , head of clinical team and the medical superintendent or hospital administrator , document review in relation to occupational stress and strategies that enhance building resilience and observation of the Information on the notice boards, consultation rooms and available literature material on occupational stress management. The participants were asked to explain their understanding of occupational stress and resilience building.

Identify possible contributing factors to occupational stress and the possible workplace initiatives to reduce occupational stress and strength building resilience to occupational stress
Findings: Understanding of occupational stress and building resilience varied from one person to another. Contributing factors to occupational stress were high work load, poor interpersonal relationships, unsupportive leadership, aggressive patients, poor communication skills inadequate skills in customer care service delivery, Lack of integration of occupational stress management strategies in human resource management system and their relatives transfer and handover procedure, poor information delivery mechanisms, lack of occupational health and safety services, not progressing at work , inadequate access to information related to stress management in the various workplaces failure to involve staff in developing solutions to identified problems contributing to occupational stress

The initiatives to reduce occupational stress and build resilience were : work load modification on hospital based initiatives early communication in case of any changes, forwarding suggestion for change , music and special events, individual and organisational development ensuring the health workers had breaks , leave or vacation massage and occupational health specialist in the hospitals had supportive leadership and involvement of health care workers in decision making, acknowledgement from management and leadership within and outside the hospital.

Rewarding and recognition motivated and enable an individual to deal with stress Factors that affected the effectiveness of the resilience building strategies included: intrapersonal factors froe example attitude, self-esteem, age and educational level. Interpersonal factors like conflicts and lack of peer social support, unsupportive leadership job demands and span of control, role ambiguity communication delivery and information sharing among health care workers.

Conclusion: The findings high light the need to understand the local perspectives of occupational stress and the importance involving the health care workers in identifying the initiatives to reduce occupational stress and enhance building resilience. Avail IEC materials on occupational stress on stress prevention, identification and management in a work place, train staff on peer to peer social support in addressing occupational stress.
Implication for health care workers management : A health work environment can be enhanced through local understanding of the contributing factors to occupational stress and productively engaging the health care workers in developing occupational stress reduction and resilience building initiatives for their effectiveness and sustainability.

The health mangers ought to facility such for improved performance.
Key such terms: Resilience Building: occupational stress :occupational support: strategies: work related stress, stress : interventions