Social work, by definition, involves constant professional interaction with people who are in a difficult situation, experiencing challenges, or even suffering from some distress. It is difficult to stay in such an environment day after day, first of all, psychologically: emotional stress accumulates, and knowledge and resources are limited. Professionals working in the field of social assistance for a long time feel that they are overwhelmed by the problems of other people. They do not know, however, how to dispose of this load properly. They also lack applied psychological knowledge and practical skills to help themselves and colleagues in emotionally stressful situations. All this leads to the fact that the employees of nursing homes for the elderly, social workers, and therapists develop an emotional burnout syndrome. It is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion, which negatively affects all parts of life. For these reasons, wellness as an ethical practice should be a vital element of social work.
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The primary methods of preventing burnout are the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities, improvements in labor content, and enhancement of the psychological climate within the organization or team. There are several reasons to support and further extend this claim. First of all, many opportunities for higher education and professional training have emerged in recent years. Secondly, labor content, despite being established as a result of industry developments, still needs improvements. Notably, there is a necessity for a more accurate distribution of job tasks, duties, and rights, elimination of duplication in the performance of functions, and preventative measures against fatigue arising from physical and psychological stress. Lastly, it is difficult to work and thrive within a psychologically unstable environment.
Achieving the desired results is not as easy as identifying possible solutions. Training and higher education in contemporary society are not cheap, but any social worker must consider this option and plan it. Increasing qualifications will arm the employee with necessary tools, that are both ethical and feasible, to deal with work stress and provide quality support for clients. Knowledge will also allow workers to transform wellness into an ethical practice that is part of everyday responsibilities. Because performance is directly associated with well-being, self-care must be a significant part of daily activities. The acquired skills should not be lost, which is why I believe workers must attend training at least twice a year to be up-to-date.
Labor content is what defines the activities of any employee, so a sufficient amount of time should be devoted to processing improvements. Employees should conduct meetings weekly to discuss the problems with the current process and how it can be enhanced to facilitate overall goals. There should be zero occurrences when an employee feels stressed because of how the work is organized. Otherwise, immediate actions should be taken to solve an issue.
Achieving a desirable psychological climate within the organization is one of the most challenging objectives for any management team. A pleasant working environment facilitates teamwork and increases the productivity of individual workers. Each worker, however, should also think about how they can contribute. One way of helping is to stop mistreating colleagues and have weekly reflective discussions telling about relationship problems within the team. An ideal goal is to bring the number of disputes to zero within the next three months.