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Hot Topics: Stress of Healthcare Staff Can Affect Service During Disasters

Jackie Werner Emergency Medicine, Hot Topics in Research

Staff Stress: The Sleeping Cell of Healthcare Failure

Achour N, Munokaran S, Barker F, Soetanto R. Staff stress: The sleeping cell of healthcare failure. Procedia Engineering. 2018;212:459-466. doi: 10.1016/j.proeng.2018.01.059.

Much research has been conducted to increase the resilience of healthcare service to major hazards; however, every time a major hazard takes place we discover that this critical service is yet to reach the anticipated resilient state. This paper reports an ongoing research work that looked at: the resilience of the structure of healthcare facilities, equipment stability, lifeline (utility) supplies, the interaction between hospitals and emergency agencies and the support the latter can provide during major emergencies. This paper presents findings on the ability of human resources to deal with the stress associated with major hazards. A mixed research method was adopted, including a systematic literature review followed by a survey to gather evidence about the stress level amongst healthcare staff in hospitals and their motivation. The literature review was conducted to find information about the level of stress healthcare staff experience with during major emergencies. Findings suggest that healthcare staff remain at high risk of stress and thus represent a major weakness of healthcare service resilience. The research concludes with a set of recommendations to address this issue.