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Open AccessArticle

Hospital Medical and Nursing Managers’ Perspective on the Mental Stressors of Employees

1
Institute for Occupational, Social, and Environmental Medicine, Centre for Health and Society, Medical Faculty, Düsseldorf University, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
2
Institute of Psychology, Work & Organizational Psychology, University of Duisburg-Essen, 45141 Essen, Germany
3
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Ulm University Medical Center, 89081 Ulm, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membership of the SEEGEN Consortium is provided in the Acknowledgments.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5041; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145041
Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 7 July 2020 / Accepted: 10 July 2020 / Published: 13 July 2020
Working conditions in hospitals are characterized by occupational stressors, which lead to potentially harmful psychosocial stress reactions for medical and nursing staff. Representative surveys showed that almost every second hospital physician or nurse is affected by burnout and that there is a strong association between leadership behavior and employee health. Workplace health promotion programs can only be successful and sustainable if managers support them. However, it is still unclear whether hospital managers are aware of the working conditions and perceive them as an influence on the health of their employees. Therefore, the aim of this qualitative study was to explore the hospital medical and nursing managers’ perspective on the mental stress of their employees. Semi-standardized interviews with 37 chief physicians (CP), senior physicians (SP) and senior nurses (SN) in total were carried out in one German hospital. The interviews were content-analyzed based on the guideline for the mental risk assessment of the ‘Gemeinsame Deutsche Arbeitsschutzstrategie’ (GDA). Most reported work characteristics related to work organization, work task, and social factors. Staff shortage could be identified as an underlying stressor for several other burdens. Social support by managers and among colleagues was mentioned as main resource. The findings indicate that managers strive to reduce the burden on their staff, especially through their personal support. Nevertheless, it seemed that managers need additional resources to counteract stressors. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychosocial stress; occupational health; healthcare; leadership; employee mental well-being; qualitative research; psychosocial safety climate psychosocial stress; occupational health; healthcare; leadership; employee mental well-being; qualitative research; psychosocial safety climate
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MDPI and ACS Style

Worringer, B.; Genrich, M.; Müller, A.; Gündel, H.; Contributors of the SEEGEN Consortium; Angerer, P. Hospital Medical and Nursing Managers’ Perspective on the Mental Stressors of Employees. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5041.

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