An exploratory study to identify the range of occupational stressors that occur among ambulance workers in Johannesburg

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. A. Novello en_US
dc.contributor.author Green, Rosanne
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-13T06:28:20Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-13T06:28:20Z
dc.date.issued 2012-09-13
dc.date.submitted 1999-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7712
dc.description M.A. en_US
dc.description.abstract This study looks into the types of stressors specific to the Emergency Medical Services. The study was undertaken over a period of two years with the following objectives: • A literature survey regarding stress, organisational stress in general and stress in the context of Emergency Medical Services in particular. • An investigation of the personnel of the Emergency Medical Services to ascertain the stressors perceived as stressful by them. • Recommendations on how to prevent or lower stress in the Emergency Medical Services. The first part of this study is devoted to a theoretical investigation which gives an overview of stress in its broadest sense as well as stress in organisations which includes cumulative stress/burnout. Critical Incident Stress and Post Traumatic Stress are also closely examined, as well as the personality characteristics of members of the Emergency Medical Services. The point of departure for the researcher is an ecosystemic perspective where objectivity itself is questionable. Therefore, qualitative research was called for and the transactional/interactional model of Richard Lazarus was used to categorise stressors. The research results suggest that what the Emergency Medical Service personnel perceive as stressful are mainly organisational stressors but they acknowledge that in the long term the continual dealing with death and trauma starts to take its toll. Criticisms that could be levelled against the study are that the results are only generalisable to the personnel of the Johannesburg Emergency Services, whose demographic characteristics and backgrounds differ, for instance, from those who work at Bryanston, or Pretoria. As the study relied solely on personal disclosure and observation the results can be seen as somewhat subjective in nature. What was communicated as stress-related events was what was perceived as stressful by the personnel as well as the researcher's subjective perception of whether certain events were perceived as stressful for the personnel. After working on the ambulance with these personnel for over three years, the researcher is an accepted part of their system, and became subject to the same blunting of affect and depersonalisation of victims as the Emergency workers. Over an extended period in time, it became harder to divorce the researcher from the "worker" while on duty, to maintain a scientific perspective and to write objectively. However, the findings of this study concur with those done by previous researchers on this subject such as Sparrius (1992) and Du Toit & Botes (1996). en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Emergency medical personnel - Job stress - Research - South Africa. en_US
dc.subject Stress (Psychology) - Research - South Africa. en_US
dc.subject Stress (Psychology) - Prevention. en_US
dc.subject Stress (Psychology) - Treatment. en_US
dc.title An exploratory study to identify the range of occupational stressors that occur among ambulance workers in Johannesburg en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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