It is difficult to notice the work related effects that health care practitioners go through. Health care personnel who take care of mentally or physically ill patients tend to experience symptoms which resemble post traumatic stress disorder.
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This happens because of the trauma that employees develop as a result of investing long hours at the workplace and dealing with stressing situations in the workplace.
Many employers think that by providing their employees with attractive benefits and services, they will be able to motivate and retain their workforce.
This at times results in low morale, decline in job performance and high rates of employee turnover, absenteeism and taking of sick leaves (Cohen, Ruggie and Micozzi, 48). If all these setbacks occur even after employers provide work incentives, what could be the underlying problem?
Most of the time, it is the welfare of victims that is taken care of when there is a disaster. Even during war, the injured are the ones who receive urgent medical attention. The priorities of medical personnel who work in military medical facilities are to selflessly devote their time and efforts towards saving the lives of soldiers who are injured during wars.
They attend to soldiers who have had their legs torn off by landmines as well as those who received bullet wounds. The medical personnel also attend to those who fall sick while in the jungle and soldiers who are rescued from kidnappers.
Medical personnel who attend to these victims and patients devote their full attention to their work so that they are able to help the wounded recover fully. The families of these victims are also taken care of by being accorded all the necessary support when they are bereaved or their members affected by disasters.
The above findings indicate that victims of disasters and their families are often well taken care of. But what about the personnel who take care of them?
The plight of this category of individuals is usually ignored since employers assume that their employees are well trained and capable of handling all kinds of situations.
Employers however fail to remember that their members of staff are also human and that they also develop side effects from dealing with people who have undergone disasters (Leach, 402).
It is not only the people that have been affected directly by disasters who develop traumas. Many medical personnel have developed work related secondary traumatic stress as a result of dealing with sensitive cases while discharging their duties. Is the welfare of such kinds of employees taken care of?
Many organizations are slowly adopting the idea of providing on-site services such as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for their employees.
These investments are not a waste of funds since wellness clinics produce good results when they are implemented effectively. Surveys have revealed that wellness clinics produce positive results in employees.
For instance, Duncan et al. brought out that employees who attend wellness clinics and CAM reported that they developed improved nutrition, sleep, self awareness, moods and cognition (812).
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They also exercised more, increased stress reduction practices and reduced the use of addictive substances that were previously used to deal with the trauma (812).
Benefits and services are not enough if employers are to retain their workforce. That is why there is increased investment in on site child care, on site food and on-site CAM wellness clinic.
Cohen, Michael H., Ruggie, Mary and Micozzi, Marc S. The practice of integrative medicine: a legal and operational guide. New York: Springer Pub. Co., 2006
Duncan, Alaine D., Liechty, Janet M., Miller, Cathy et al. “Employee Use and Perceived Benefit of a Complementary and Alternative Medicine Wellness Clinic at a Major Military Hospital: Evaluation of a Pilot Program.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 17.9(2011): 809–815
Leach, Robert A. The chiropractic theories: a textbook of scientific research. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004