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EAP helps employees with stress,
Stop by Health 1st’s Wellness Wednesday
table in the Children’s Hospital lobby between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. June
25 for information on stress management and job burnout prevention from
MUSC's Employee Assistance Program. Employees will receive a
stress-relieving star shaped massager (while supplies last).
Employee Assistance Program
We have all experienced periods of time in our lives that seem out of
control. Life is throwing too much at us: too many demands, too much
pressure and too much stress. Stressed out people feel that if they
could just get through this busy period in their lives they will feel
For those experiencing job burnout there is no such hope. These people
have lost the belief that finishing a project will decrease their
stress. Burnout is a result of long term exposure to stress. Job stress
and job burnout are not the same. When someone is stressed out at work
they are overly involved and care too much. When someone is burned-out,
they become detached, cynical and hopeless.
The longer someone experiences exposure to stress and burnout the
greater the emotional and physical consequences. Burnout can lead to
depression, headaches, high blood pressure, obesity, chronic neck, back
pain and other stress related illnesses. It’s important to know the
signs and symptoms of job burnout and get help as soon as possible.
Signs, symptoms of job
Feeling empty, numb or emotionally exhausted
Lack of motivation
Believing that nothing you do will make a difference
Feeling constantly frustrated
Feeling trapped in your job
Feeling like a failure
Being cynical or sarcastic
Lack of patience with co-workers or customers
Feelings of anxiety prior to going to work especially on Sunday evenings
Certain people and professions are more vulnerable to job burnout than
others. Personality traits such as perfectionism, people-pleasing and
difficulty setting boundaries may make people more susceptible to
burnout. Lack of an active social life and over identification with
your job also are high risk factors. People in the helping professions
such as heath care, social work or public safely have high rates of
burnout. However, burnout can occur in any job in which an employee
experiences risk factors.
Risk factors in job
Inadequate resources to perform job
High pressure to perform
Regular exposure to traumatic events
Low levels of social support
Poor job fit
Working with people that you don’t like or respect
Conflict or ambiguity about job role
Low levels of praise or feedback from supervisor
Being criticized for things that are beyond one’s control
Feeling underpaid or under-appreciated
Feeling trapped in a job for financial reasons
Doing work that requires the employee to compromise personal values
Certain things can be done to help prevent or relieve job burnout. Talk
with your supervisor and clarify your job description. You may also
want to ask for some time off. A brief change in job duties has been
shown to be helpful in decreasing burnout symptoms. An active
stress-management program is essential to the prevention of burnout.
This includes taking care of oneself by adhering to a balanced diet,
exercise and rest.
Activities such as meditation, prayer, yoga or tai chi give a sense of
balance and connectedness to the world. Strong social support at work
and home is key to stress management. So, take the time to get to know
your co-workers, strengthen a friendship or spend time with your
Finally, seek counseling, if needed. Your employee assistance program
(EAP) is a great place to start. An EAP staff member can help clarify
the problem and offer suggestions for improvement and resolve.
All MUSC, MUHA, UMA and Carolina Family Care employees are eligible for
benefits through MUSC EAP. MUSC EAP is a confidential and free
counseling service located at 51 Bee St.
To schedule an appointment or find out more information on the
assistance program, call 792-2848.
Editor's note: The preceding
column was brought to you on behalf of Health 1st. Striving to bring
various topics and representing numerous employee wellness
organizations and committees on campus, this weekly column seeks to
provide MUSC, MUHA and UMA employees with current and helpful
information concerning all aspects of health.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly,
as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public
for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of
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