ShropCom Paediatric Psychology Service tips & advice on Managing Workplace Stress

We all have times when our stress levels feel raised but working in health care has been found to leave us even more vulnerable to the pressure of work-related stress. Work-related stress has been defined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as 'the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. The pandemic has most certainly increased the pressures and demands on all of us.

We hear a lot about the signs and symptoms of stress, and indeed ways in which we can try to manage stress, but what more specifically about work and job roles can be a source of stress?

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development identify six key areas that can lead to work-related stress if they are not well managed. These are: demands, control, support, relationships, role and change. Let’s consider what these might mean for us in our day-to-day work:

  • Demands: for example, your workload and working environment.
  • Control: for example, how much say you are able to have about your job role.
  • Support: for example, the level of supervision you have access to and the resources that are available to do your job.
  • Relationships: for example, promoting positing working relationships within teams to try to minimise conflict.
  • Role: for example, making sure you understand your job role and how it fits into the wider organisation.
  • Change: for example, how organisational change is managed and communicated.

As a first step, it is worth taking some time to consider these elements of your work, and how you feel each is going currently. This could be something you do either on your own, with colleagues, in supervision, or with your manager to try to identify if any of these key areas are a source of stress for you. To take this a step further, you might then choose one area of focus for further exploration, and then try to identify if there is any scope for support or change.

Adapted from:

Supporting our NHS people experiencing stress | NHS Employers

Page last updated 11 April 2023