The Liquefaction of Healthcare Services: Consequences and Possible Solutions

doctors_

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Vinícius Shinoda Pereira and Mr. Gabriel Dallazem de Farias, two fourth year medical students from Cesumar University Center – UniCesumar, Brazil. They are 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 writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The relationships establishing postmodern social groupings are metaphorically compared, by Zygmunt Bauman, to matter in its liquid state. The liquids, according to Bauman, do not maintain a defined form, having as characteristics the fluidity and malleability. For him, this is the nature of contemporary bonds, marked by incessant transformations and instabilities. Thus, the concept of liquid society arises, a definition that also encompasses the working relationships.

The post modern concept of work brought in the attribution of a multiplicity of duties to the same employee, many of them nonspecific and unrelated to their primary function, revealing that more important than the qualification of the worker and his well-being, is to exploit it to the maximum.

However, all this is accomplished thanks to time, quality of life and disqualification of the worker, creating a sense of irrelevance, uncertainty and, consequently, demotivation.

The parameters of the post-modern labor market reach health services. In several health services around the world, especially in emergency departments, a highly stressful work environment is observed, which is the result of situations, such as a scant staff, intense demand for work, extensive working hours and vague functions.

Several studies have shown high levels of stress and suicide among nurses. A cross-sectional study, conducted with 850 participants in Hong Kong, concluded that nurses have a higher rate of depression, anxiety and stress when compared to the general population. Employees undergoing prolonged stress become vulnerable to health problems, resulting in absenteeism and a drop in productivity.

In this context, dissatisfaction with the workplace becomes inevitable. This contributes to a higher turnover of workers, especially young people who already have higher turnover in the labor market, a fact proven by a research conducted in 2016 by Deloitte in the USA, where it was found that 2 out of 3 professionals born between the 1980s and 1990s, the so-called Generation Y, wanted to change jobs until 2020.

Based on positive psychology, the identification of the positive attributes of employees and the development of organizational strategies based on these, would result in a happier, more focused and satisfied staff. It would also allow the establishment of well-defined functions for each employee. All these factors together would contribute to the increase in performance and productivity, in addition to the decrease in turnover, especially of young workers.

When superiors pays attention to workers and their requirements, recognizes and encourages their work, their performance and job satisfaction also increase. This can be accomplished through better communication between superiors and workers, including openness to constant feedback.

However, in addition to this, there must be the hiring of an adequate number of employees, according to the demand of the health service, in addition to the provision of psychological care, to prevent and treat workers’ mental illnesses.

These alternatives would contribute to the reduction of the kinetic energy of liquefied work relationships, controlling their fluidity and bringing more stability to the current scenario of health services.

References

  1. Bauman, Z., 2000. Liquid Modernity. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press;
  2. SILVA, Rafael Bianchi; MANDELLI, Jessica Pedrosa; DIAS, Daniela Midori Taguchi. Sobre a relação homem-trabalho no contexto da sociedade líquido-moderna: reflexões a partir de Zygmunt Bauman. Barbarói, [s.l.], p.293-309, 12 jul. 2015. APESC – Associacao Pro-Ensino em Santa Cruz do Sul. http://dx.doi.org/10.17058/barbaroi.v0i0.5263;
  3. Bardhan, R.; Heaton, K.; Davis, M.; Chen, P.; Dickinson, D.A.; Lungu, C.T. A Cross Sectional Study Evaluating Psychosocial Job Stress and Health Risk in Emergency Department Nurses. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3243;
  4. SIEGRIST, J.; DRAGANO, N.. Psychosoziale Belastungen und Erkrankungsrisiken im Erwerbsleben. Bundesgesundheitsblatt – Gesundheitsforschung – Gesundheitsschutz, [s.l.], v. 51, n. 3, p.305-312, mar. 2008. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00103-008-0461-5;
  5. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey: Winning over the next generation of leaders. 2017;
  6. STRÖMBERG, Carl; ABOAGYE, Emmanuel; HAGBERG, Jan; BERGSTRÖM, Gunnar; LOHELA-KARLSSON, Malin. Estimating the Effect and Economic Impact of Absenteeism, Presenteeism, and Work Environment–Related Problems on Reductions in Productivity from a Managerial Perspective. Value In Health, [s.l.], v. 20, n. 8, p.1058-1064, set. 2017. Elsevier BV. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2017.05.008;
  7. KOUR, Jasleen; EL-DEN, Jamal; SRIRATANAVIRIYAKUL, Narumon. The Role of Positive Psychology in Improving Employees’ Performance and Organizational Productivity: An Experimental Study. Procedia Computer Science, [s.l.], v. 161, p.226-232, 2019. Elsevier BV. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2019.11.118.

About the author

Vinícius Shinoda Pereira is a fourth year medical student from Cesumar University Center – UniCesumar. Member of IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar as LP (Local President) and LVPI (Local Vice President for Internal Affairs). Vinícius is interested in human relations inside and outside the health field. He also believes and fights for public health.

Gabriel Dallazem de Farias is a fourth year medical student from Cesumar University Center – UniCesumar. Member of IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar as LORA-D (Director of Health and Sexual and Reproductive Rights, including HIV and AIDS). Gabriel believes in the strength of minorities and fights for the end of intolerance and inequality.

the sting Milestone

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

“We have to do a better job of creating alternatives to violent extremism”, US Secretary of State John Kerry from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Chart of the day: This is what violence does to a nation’s GDP

Parliament supports plans to improve quality of tap water and cut plastic litter

EU-China: Commission and China hold first High-level Digital Dialogue

Egypt is building one of the world’s largest solar parks

ISIS fighters fleeing Mosul for Syria can topple Assad. Why did the US now decide to uproot them from Iraq?

OECD presents analysis showing significant impact of proposed international tax reforms

How Google is fighting fire with real-time mapping data

New UN finance panel to push Global Goals forward

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

Have we reached peak smartphone?

It’s time to move: 5 ways we can upgrade our SDG navigation systems

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Sardinia’s La Pelosa beach is charging tourists an entry fee to protect its dunes and vegetation

A roadmap for destination management in the digital economy

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

The needs, challenges and power dynamics of refugee resettlement

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

Crackdown on Christians in Eritrea spurs UN expert to press Government ‘to live up to its international commitments’

From underestimation to valorization: how mobile technology is transforming global health

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

DR Congo: Restore internet services as ‘a matter of urgency’, urges UN expert

Human Rights and Democracy: striving for dignity and equality around the world

Who is to pay the dearest price in a global slowdown?

Road to Brexit: the UK seeks early agreement on Data Privacy with the EU

Brazil: A strategic partner for the EU

Property regimes for international couples in Europe: new rules apply in 18 Member States as of today

‘Terminator’ warlord Bosco Ntaganda sentenced to 30 years in prison for DR Congo atrocities

How China’s sponge cities are preparing for sea-level rise

More international support needed to curb deadly measles outbreak in DR Congo

What makes a great CEO? The people they surround themselves with

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for decisive action on security priorities

#Travelgoals: why Instagram is key to understanding millennial tourism

A fundamental transport transformation: Commission presents its plan for green, smart and affordable mobility

Millions of Afghans have ‘voted not just for a president, but also for democracy’, UN Assembly told

The big challenge of leadership and entrepreneurship in Europe

Better training ‘a necessary and strategic investment’ in peacekeeping that saves lives: Guterres

How data can help mining companies tackle their trust deficit

A brief history of vaccines and how they changed the world

COVID-19 poses a dramatic threat to life in conflict zones

Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

They have more than 30 words for “apple core”, and other things you didn’t know about Switzerland

What next after more sanctions against Russia, will the Ukrainian civil war end?

Should tech companies pay us for our data?

Migration: Better travel safe than sorry

Why developing new antibiotics is a matter of life and death

Darfur peace process at a ‘standstill’ as demonstrations against Sudanese Government continue

Human traffickers in Libya are posing as UN staff, says Refugee Agency

UN welcomes progress in former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia naming dispute

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Women and girls in science – from aspiration to reality

EU values in Hungary and Poland: debate on recent developments

Technology can help us save the planet. But more than anything, we must learn to value nature

China-EU Summit on 16-17 July 2018: “Work together to address common challenges”, by China’s Ambassador to the EU

EP negotiators: recovery plan crucial, but do not trade long-term for short-term

More Stings?

Advertising

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