OHP heal thyself

first_imgOHP heal thyselfOn 1 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. OH practitioners may be so involved in helping others they neglectthemselves and end up burnt out and exhausted. Tips on identifying the causes,spotting the symptoms and dealing with the problem are offered, by NerinaRamlakhan Working in occupational health is challenging and can even be frustrating attimes. This is particularly true in organisations that are struggling to learnhow to function effectively in an increasingly turbulent and unstructuredworld. As an organisational consultant and physiologist, I have spent a number ofyears working at various levels within organisations, often liaising closelywith OH departments. I have witnessed a shift in the role of occupationalhealth and an impact on the health of the OH practitioner if the turbulence isnot navigated with care and attention to self. The aim of this article is toraise awareness of what can cause burn-out and to highlight those strategiesthat can help to prevent it. What is burn-out? Since Freudenberger’s1 pioneering work on burn-out among the caringprofessions, there has been an explosion of interest in, and research about,this particular syndrome. Burn-out has been described as “to fail, wearout, or become exhausted by reason of excessive demands on energy, strength, orresources”. Maslach2 defined it as: “The loss of concern for thepeople with whom one is working … (including) physical exhaustion … (and)characterised by an emotional exhaustion in which the professional no longerhas any positive feelings, sympathy or respect for clients or patients”. The symptoms of burn-out are as varied as the sufferers. Some people becomeirrationally angry. Some resort to blaming any annoyance, large or small, onexternal factors. Some become quiet, introverted and isolated, which canindicate the start of a serious depression. Others manifest burn-out by under-or over-eating or abusing alcohol or other mood-altering substances. Stillothers may experience a range of physical symptoms, including chronic illness,high blood pressure and frequent headaches. In my experience of working with OHPs who have come close to burning out orare actually burnt out, they may become obsessive workaholics – working longerand less productive hours to get the job done. Time management becomes reactiveand firefighting the norm at the expense of creative and visionary work. Figuring out if you are stressed and on the verge of burn-out is notdifficult if you take the time to step back and evaluate your situation (seebox). The more difficult issue is often related to teasing apart the variouscauses of burn-out and then trying to manage those that are controllable. The work environment The work environment has undergone profound changes in the past 30 years orso, driven largely by information technology and global competitive demands. Inparallel, the image, perception and role of occupational health has changed,and the terrorist events of 11 September served as a further catalyst forraising issues about safety and wellness. Clients’ needs have also changed and this has inevitably had a knock-oneffect on the role of occupational health and its practitioners. Says OHconsultant, Carol Cholerton: “OH has shifted from being a nice-to-havebenefit, to having to justify its existence to the business in very hard-nosedterms.” This inevitably places additional responsibilities on OH practitioners toacquire and develop marketing skills that will enable them to be heard bymanagement. In other words they need to be able to speak the language ofbusiness. For many OH practitioners, frustrations arise when they feel they arenot being heard. Are you susceptible? Personality and burn-out Freudenberger1 identified three personality types in the caring professionsas being sensitive to burn-out: – the dedicated and committed personality type – the personality type that is overcommitted and whose private life isunsatisfactory – the authoritarian personality and/or patronising personality type. No matter what the personality type, when external demands continue toincrease, self-imposed demands can create even more pressure, and compoundingthis may be the insidious ego stroking involved in working harder. Althoughanyone can experience excessive stress, in my experience of working with OHdepartments, many practitioners do possess certain traits, which may bereinforced in their training, that make them more susceptible to burn-out; theyare conscientious and committed and much of their personal identity may be tiedup with their professional identity. Some people report that it is tough out there and getting tougher. However,some people and some organisations are nonetheless thriving. Darwin’s idea isthat it is the fittest that shall survive, but he did not mean strongest –which is the usual misapprehension. He meant those organisms that are mostadaptable to changing conditions. The following toolkit contains what I thinkcan help in these turbulent times. Many of these are things we all know andrecommend to our clients or patients but often neglect to follow ourselves. So,a little reminder. The lifeskills toolkit Understand your energy levels and manage them effectively: balance energyrecovery and expenditure. – Manage food stress – start the day with breakfast and then eat little andoften throughout the day, particularly if you are going to be working longhours. Keep healthy snacks (nuts, fruit, bagels) with you and avoid going forquick fixes such as caffeine or sweets. Try to drink at least one litre ofwater a day. – Create a healthy balance between activity and rest – research inchronobiology suggests that we should take breaks every 60 to 90 minutes inorder to rejuvenate and replenish mental/physical energy. Take a break away fromyour desk whenever possible, find a flight of stairs and walk up and down a fewtimes, go for a walk around the block, change mental channels for five to 10minutes. If you cannot get away from your office, do some stretches at yourdesk to release neck and shoulder tension, eye exercises to release tension, orbreathing exercises to lift your energy. – Stay fit for the job – we have evolved as an active species and as such weneed physical activity to keep stress in balance. Try to engage in some form ofaerobic activity at least three times a week. – Create healthy boundaries in your life – do you take a lunch break (even20 minutes is enough to replenish your energy)? What time do you leave work? Doyou take work home, and if so, do you do it? Do you talk about work /thinkabout it constantly when you go home? Can you engage in something positive thatwill help you to switch off? If you are going to talk about work, put a timelimit on it and do not allow it to ambush your whole evening. – Optimise sleep – this means keeping work out of your bedroom, allowingyourself time to wind down in the evenings (even if this means going to bedlater), minimising caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants and using relaxingessential oils such as lavender in your bath or on your pillow. Try to let goof anxieties about how much or how little sleep you should be getting as thisjust compounds insomnia. If you wake up at night and cannot get back to sleep,try getting up and writing about what may be bothering you. If you have atendency to wake up with your ‘to do’ list going round and round in your head,try writing lists before you leave work. The emotional toolkit In the wake of the tragic events of 11 September, I have become more awareof the way in which the current world conditions and emotional climate canimpact upon individuals. Increasingly, we need to develop and hone our sense ofemotional balance. This means becoming aware of when we are carrying aroundnegative emotions and losing balance. – Awareness – get into the habit of regularly doing an emotional check,particularly if you have just been ‘counselling’ a client. Are you holding anytension in your body? Can you release it by stretching or using breathingtechniques? Use your journey home (even if standing on a packed commuter train)to do an emotional check and relax your body. The key to doing this is bybreathing slowly and deeply from your diaphragm and bringing your mind intopresent focus. – Keep a journal – avoid bottling things up. Getting your feelings out on topaper can be an effective way of letting off steam and making sense of things. – Support – one of the most therapeutic things you can do for yourself andothers is to form a support network with other OHPs. This should not amount toa group of people sitting around complaining, but a forum for sharing problemsand seeking solutions. Talk to friends and family and be selective about whowill give you a genuine listening ear and help you to find constructivesolutions. – Join a yoga or pilates class – breathing techniques are very effective forreleasing negative emotions such as anger and fear as they arise. – Honesty – this is about truly acknowledging how you feel about asituation. Often, when we become emotionally overwhelmed by a situation orproblem our knee-jerk response is to run away from confronting it by engagingin manic ‘hyper-productivity’. We may be keeping ourselves busy but notactually getting much done and the mind is continuously running by itself withno guidance or direction. The key is to stop, clear space to focus mentally anddeal with your feelings constructively, even if it means having a good cry. The marketing toolkit Marketing is important for the OHP who is frustrated by an unresponsiveorganisation. This is about what the client wants, not what the OHP wants. If no-one is listening, why? Are you listening to the client? Are you givingthem solutions that can be used? This is not about lack of vision or ethics, or even pandering to clients.This is about listening to clients, becoming aware of their problems and thenconsidering how this relates to your business. As one OHP put it: “It’sabout thinking out of the OH box into the business they are operating in.”Find your supporters The dreaded word ‘networking’. Who is on your side? Who will listen to, andsupport you? Take every opportunity to liaise with your clients and get to knowthe business. Speak the right language Communicate in such a way that will achieve buy-in. Can you communicate effectivelyin meetings? Can you chair meetings? Can you use the language that the businesscan relate to? OH professionals increasingly need to enable themselves and empower othersto survive these turbulent, unpredictable conditions and transform them into opportunitiesfor survival, if not growth. This means being totally committed to self-careand achieving balance – whether in the clinic or the boardroom. Highperformance depends as much on how much you renew and recover energy as on howyou expend it. When people feel strong and resilient – physically, mentally,emotionally, and spiritually – they perform better, with more passion, forlonger. They win, their families win, and the organisations that employ themwin. References 1. Freudenberger HJ (1975) The staff burn-out syndrome in alternativeinstitutions. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 12(1):35-45. 2. Maslach C (1976) Burned-out. Human Behaviour, 5(9):16-22 Nerina Ramlakhan, PhD is an organisational consultant and physiologist. Sheruns a company called Equilibrium Solutions. Assess your risk for burn-outThere are two types of stress – eustress and distress. Eustress, or positivestress, occurs when you control your stress effectively. Distress, or negativestress, occurs when stress controls you. The following is a simple test tohelp you to assess your predisposition to distress in your life. The morequestions with a ‘yes’ response, the greater your risk for burn-out.– Are you highly achievement-oriented?– Do you tend to withdraw from offers of support?– Do you avoid discussing problems with others?– Do you have difficulty delegating responsibilities to others,including patients or clients?– Do you prefer to work alone?– Do you externalise blame?– Are your relationships asymetrical; ie are you always giving?– Is your personal identity bound up with your work role orprofessional identity?– Do you have a difficult time saying no?– Is there a lack of opportunity for positive feedback outsideof your professional or work role?– Do you live by the laws ‘don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel’?Case studyAnna is a good example of a dedicated and committed OHP. She strives to workharder to meet the increasing demands made on her. She feels unable toquestion, nor effectively protest the right of clients or management to makesuch escalating demands. She is a nurse of deep conviction and cannot say nobecause of a basic belief system that the needs of others are worthwhile, whilehers are not. When her efforts meet with less and less success, she works even harder.Despite her decreasing cost-effectiveness, she continues to believe that withlonger hours and greater intensity she can make a genuine difference to theorganisation she is working for. Breaking the cycle of burn-out came about when Anna was transferred to adifferent team with an experienced and observant OH manager. Her manager, awareof the dangers of Anna working from a deficit position (I’m not good enough),soon intervened and worked with Anna on establishing some healthy boundaries –a more balanced ratio of client-contact time to administrative time, healthierworking hours and breaks during the day, a holiday, and a communication skillscourse. Anna was willing to contract for these changes with her manager inorder to break the cycle. 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Chautauqua County Reports 36 New COVID-19 Cases Thursday

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County officials have reported 36 new COVID-19 cases Thursday afternoon, bringing the total number of cases up to 1,429.The City of Jamestown has reported the highest number of cases today, reporting eight new cases. Fredonia has reported five new cases along with four cases each in Dunkirk and Westfield. Three cases where reported in Silver Creek with two each in Frewsburg and Clymer. Forestville, Cherry Creek, Falconer, Panama, Sinclairville, Mayville, and Bemus Point have all reported one case each. 155 active cases currently remain active.There are currently 12 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 1,258 recoveries and 16 deaths.last_img read more

U.S. Power Companies Say They Will Continue Shift to Renewables Regardless of What Trump Wants

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:Some of the biggest U.S. power companies said they are pushing ahead with investments in renewable and gas-fired electricity and are including climate change as a part of their corporate strategy, regardless of the Trump administration’s plans to roll back Obama-era environmental rules.Some sizable power companies, such as American Electric Power Co., NRG Energy Inc. and Southern Co., said Tuesday the move will have only a marginal effect on their planning. Cheap fuel, improving technology and consumer demand are creating a market for cleaner energy that is largely unaffected by what is happening in Washington.The Trump administration argues that the Obama rules weren’t allowed under the Clean Air Act—an issue that will likely be argued in court for years. A generational shift in the energy industry was happening long before that tug of war in federal government. Power plants cut their carbon dioxide by 25% between 2005 and 2016, a trend that is likely to continue, according to the Edison Electric Institute, an industry group.Cheap natural gas from the shale-drilling boom and more-efficient power plants have run coal-burning rivals out of business. Advancements in wind and solar power, with help from subsidies, have cut emissions, too. And confronted with the risks of climate change and how governments might deal with it, power companies now expect the cost of carbon emissions to rise and plan on ways to reduce them.“This will not change our planning process,” a spokesman at Southern Co. said of the EPA’s move on Tuesday.More: ($) Power Companies to Stick With Plans Despite EPA’s Emissions Repeal: Cheap fuel, technology and consumer preferences are driving demand for cleaner energy U.S. Power Companies Say They Will Continue Shift to Renewables Regardless of What Trump Wantslast_img read more

Bouche Memorial for IMCA Stock Cars slated Saturday at Thunderhill

first_imgBy Edward AnschutzSTURGEON BAY, Wis. (May 19) – A $1,000 payday is in story for the winner of the seventh annual Nathan Bouche Memorial for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars this Saturday, May 23 at Thunderhill Raceway.The winner’s share of the purse is courtesy of the Bull Pen Bar & Grill, located in Forestville.All applicable IMCA points will be awarded. There is no entry fee.Pit gates open at 3:30 p.m. and racing starts at 6 p.m. Local track historian Tom Wagner will take the microphone and call the night’s action.Spectator admission for adults is $10, for seniors and students $7 and $3 for kids ages 6-12. Children five and under get in free. Pit passes are $20 for members and $25 for non-members.Also on the evening program are IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and street stocks will compete.More information is available from promoter Woody Wodack at 920 743-7052, and at the track website, www.racethunderhill.com.last_img read more

Daytona 500 2019: ‘Big One’ destroys many front runners with 10 laps remaining

first_img Daytona 500 2019: Wild crash ends on pit road, dooms Jimmie Johnson’s chances “I just barely hooked him, and it wrecked a lot of cars,” Menard said. “That was my bad.”The crash was dramatic even by restrictor-plate crash images, with cars piling up in a shower of sparks and twisted sheet metal.The big one!! #nascar #Daytona #DAYTONA500 #DaytonaDay @rickwinkelman pic.twitter.com/54cuEmEDUN— Meindert Acda (@MeindertAcdaF1) February 17, 2019 WELP pic.twitter.com/09xqeRkCkC— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 17, 2019No one was injured in the incident, which involved 18 cars.”Just a racing deal,” DiBenedetto told Fox. “Nothing intentional there.” Related News The inevitable happened with 10 laps remaining in regulation in the Daytona 500 Sunday, with a huge crash that took out numerous front runners.The incident began when Paul Menard, who was drafting behind Matt DiBenedetto, got him sideways. DiBenedetto, running fourth, then collected Menard, and the two drivers blocked much of the track, collecting many cars that had run extremely well all day.last_img read more