The impacts of working conditions on the quality of the healthcare system

_offices_

(Credit, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Gabriele Montipó, a second-year medical student at the State University of Western
Paraná, in Francisco Beltrão, Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


One of the great challenges of the medical community nowadays is to achieve improvements in working conditions, that are currently precarious in a large part of the service network and which are making it increasingly difficult for professionals to do their work properly. Besides, there is not only one factor responsible for this critical scenario, but a network of processes that add up, generating difficult situations.

In their daily work, health professionals are exposed to multiple risk factors: physical, chemical, biological and mainly of a psychosocial nature. There is a lack of adequate instruments available, due to the lack of resources for the purchase of these materials, such as medicines; but even those well-equipped units can suffer from the overload of demand. A current example of this misfortune is the massive international demand for N-95 personal respirator masks, face shields and eye protection equipments due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Health professionals must come into close physical contact with patients during examinations and, without the correct equipment, they expose themselves to diseases on a daily basis. Furthermore, in Italy, doctors are even being forced to decide not to treat patients, because of the lack of resources.

Excluding physical fatigue due to the long night shifts, the doctor has to ‘try’ to overcome social problems, precarious working conditions, a patient who is unable to acquire medication, difficulty in hospitalization, lack of vacancies and difficulty in investigating with complementary expensive exams. To the young workforce that has just been introduced to this environment is even harder to adapt and to overcome these complicated conditions.

Consequently, these difficult situations translate into multiple and varied health problems, like sleep disorders, with sleep deprivation being considered an important factor for the increase wear and error. Also, anxiety produced at and by work contributes to the onset of psychiatric conditions, such as depression, burnout, panic syndrome, among others. It causes physical, cognitive and emotional overload, sometimes unbearable for professionals, causing illness, suffering and low job satisfaction. And all of these interact synergistically, enhancing health effects and damage.

But the solutions for this cruel reality are here, they just need to be put in practice. For example, implementing certain items of equipment better suited to difficult care would help improving the security of the health workers. Also, extending emotion-focused work discussion groups with management involvement could help smooth the emotional burden of the job. In addition, we need government agencies to contribute to a quality public health system through the expansion of their investments in infrastructure, remuneration of health professionals, combined with the participation of new technological mechanisms, supplying a shortage of doctors in the countryside and a better health process. After all, to make sure we can give our patients a good service, we need good material resources, with adequate human and working conditions.

References

WEERDT, Corinne Van De; BARATTA, René. Changes in working conditions for home healthcare workers and impacts on their work activity and on their emotions. Prod., São Paulo, v. 25, n. 2, p. 344-353, June 2015.

Machado MH (Coord.) Os médicos no Brasil: um retrato da realidade. Rio de Janeiro: Editora FIOCRUZ; 1997. 244 p.

About the author

Gabriele Montipó is a second-year medical student at the State University of Western
Paraná, in Francisco Beltrão, Brazil. She is a member of the International Federation of
Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) and participates in the Standing Committee On
Medical Education (SCOME). She wants to be part of the chance for a better medical
workplace and believes in the evolution of medical science. She has big hopes for the
future, as to become a surgeon and one day be part of the Doctors Without Borders
movement, helping to give medical care to those that most need it.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU Emissions Trading System does not hurt firms’ profitability

UN chief calls for ‘solidarity, compassion and action’ on World Refugee Day

Here’s how to check in on your AI system, as COVID-19 plays havoc

Amid ‘unprecedented combination’ of epidemics, UN and partners begin cholera vaccination campaign in DR Congo

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

How debt for climate swaps could spur a green recovery

5 steps to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Rise in Caribbean children displaced by storms shows climate crisis is a child rights issue: UNICEF

New rules for audiovisual media services approved by Parliament

Making the most of our ‘extra time’ – for ourselves and society

MEPs call on Russia to stop illegitimate prosecution of Lithuanian judges

UN General Assembly celebrates 20 years of promoting a culture of peace

Four million have now fled Venezuela, UN ramps up aid to children who remain

UN highlights importance of skills development on World Youth Skills Day

China and the EU agree to protect each other’s food and drink specialities

One-sixth of the world’s economy has now pledged to cut CO2 to zero by 2050

What is an immunity passport and could it work?

The benefits of a cashless society

Innovative urban financing can make our cities stronger

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is why we need dignity more than ever

UN-backed intercultural dialogue forum urged to keep working to ‘bridge gap between the like-minded’

How to prevent a suicide?

Parliament adopts deal to improve quality of tap water and reduce plastic litter

What we can learn from Asia’s courts of the future

Somalia advancing towards ‘inclusive and peaceful future’ for women, deputy UN chief

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and ending HIV, one single goal

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

How our global battle against coronavirus could help us fight climate change

FROM THE FIELD: Powering up health care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Outbreak of COVID-19: The third wave and the people

How can we ensure energy is clean, secure and affordable?

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

Your smartphone may know more about your mental health than you

Innovations in reusable packaging need a playbook. Here’s why

Why cybersecurity should be standard due diligence for investors

State aid: Commission approves Danish support for Thor offshore wind farm project

Investment Plan for Europe: European Investment Bank to provide BioNTech with up to €100 million in debt financing for COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing

Commission takes further action to ensure professionals can fully benefit from the Single Market

Theresa May in search of a magic plan to invoke Article 50 and start Brexit negotiations now

Austerity ends in Eurozone, Germany is isolated

Do not take the EP’s consent on MFF for granted, says Budget Committee Chair

Sherpa climbers carried out the highest-ever spring clean. This is what they found

New UN data tool shows ‘mismatch’ between government aid and places modern slavery exists

Chart of the day: This is why we need to protect nature’s pollinators

The eyes of Brazil and the world turn to the largest rainforest and largest biodiversity reserve on Earth #PrayForAmazonia.

We need to change the fast fashion model. Here’s how

Coronavirus response: Commission welcomes agreement on crucial VAT relief for vaccines and testing kits

Lithuania finds the ways to maintain its energy security

Africa must use tech to chase corruption out of the shadows

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

More than 30 years of US trade with China, in one chart

Myanmar companies bankroll ‘brutal operations’ of military, independent UN experts claim in new report

Deadly violence at Israel-Gaza border escalates dangerously: UN chief condemns in strongest terms

What has a year of experiments taught us about basic income?

UNICEF warns of ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya youth, one year after Myanmar exodus

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

UN Chief says ending poverty ‘a question of justice’ on International Day

FROM THE FIELD: Urban Mexico moves toward better livelihoods, cleaner cities

The Sting’s Values

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s