Emergency Service Personnel and the Impact of Stress and Cardiac Related Problems on Their Jobs

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Due to the nature of their jobs, personnel working in these departments are prone to many occupational hazards, the most important of which is stress. This could be due to their own living environment, their protective gear, their officers and leaders, current management styles, co-workers, and the stress of leaving their families and loved ones alone during natural and man-made disasters. Many of them are required to withstand horrendous physical and psychological assaults as they perform their duty. They have to work in the midst of civil unrest, urban terrorism, structural collapse, earthquakes, and hurricanes. They need to be action-oriented and need to be in control. Those people who choose a career in this path, with all its inherent powerful stressors, have personalities that match them to the work. They have very different personalities from the average person who has a far less risky and/or demanding job. They can make quick decisions under pressure. They are risk-takers and become easily bored. They are more interested in details and they pride themselves on a perfect job. This attention to detail and the perfect job well done sets them up for the stress associated with a failure to achieve unusually high expectations. It is important to know these aspects and deal with them appropriately because their psychological, as well as their physiological well being, is not only of vital importance to them but also to their families, their department and their community.Stress may be defined as either a response to a perceived threat, challenge or change. a physical and psychological response to any demand. or as a state of psychological and physical arousal. Normally, some amount of stress is necessary for productive living. However, when stress gets out of control, it becomes a destructive force that has a negative impact on the person’s health, his personality, his job, and his family. Two models identifying stressful components of the psychosocial work environment have received particular attention: the job strain model and, more recently, the effort-reward imbalance model (Kiwimaki, 2002).There’s quite good evidence that stress is involved in heart disease.