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

Opening – EP remembers Nelson Mandela and mourns attacks on Roma in Ukraine

Fairness in the food supply chain: Commission proposes to increase price transparency

What do refugees really need from those who want to help? A refugee explains

Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May at last week’s EU Council. Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte

EU leaders open “Phase Two” of Brexit talks and warn Theresa May of tougher times

European Commission adopts rules to ensure a smooth transition to its next President and the next College of Commissioners

Debunked: 5 myths about the future of work

Ramp up nuclear power to beat climate change, says UN nuclear chief

State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion French “Fonds de solidarité” scheme for small enterprises in temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus outbreak

Medical students, climate change and health: an unorthodox combination

EU summit: Are the London Tories planning an exit from the EU?

Can alternatives to rhino horn save these gentle giants?

More hiring freedom can reduce teacher shortages in disadvantaged areas

Make progress or risk redundancy, UN chief warns world disarmament body

Create conditions for ‘harmony between humankind and nature’, UN chief says on sidelines of G20 in Japan

The role of students in a migration crisis in Roraima, Brazil

Here are three key ways that data analytics can improve the workplace

How we can embrace the electrical vehicle transition by adopting smart charging

These are the best cities for tech

FROM THE FIELD: Stopping aquatic hitchhikers to safeguard environments at sea

“Sorry mom it’s not our day”: the true refugee story of a young doctor and his family forced to flee their home

UN commemorates International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Mental health at stake: A silent epidemic of 21st century

Women’s empowerment ‘essential to global progress’ says Guterres, marking International Day

India m2m + iot Forum Hosts Successful 4th Editions of India Smart Cities Forum and India Smart Villages Forum

The importance of collaboration in the digital economy

Medical Education is #NotATarget

Ebola in DR Congo: New transmission chain risks reversing major gains

EU-China relations under investigation?

Knowledge management and entrepreneurship: short term vs. long term perspective

These photos show the world of science in stunning detail

Behind the firewall: a discussion on the evolution of cybersecurity in the utility industry

‘Negative forces’ at work in DR Congo threaten ‘largely peaceful’ relations across Great Lakes region, says outgoing UN envoy

FROM THE FIELD: Free tutorials in Mali, ‘a life-saver’ for Fatouma

One-third of Afghans need urgent humanitarian aid, millions suffer ‘acute food insecurity’

Landmark EU Parliament – ECB agreement on bank supervision

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

How blockchain is addressing key problem patterns in the financial services sector

Youth2030: UN chief launches bold new strategy for young people ‘to lead’

Juncker’s Investment Plan in desperate need for trust and funds from public and private investors

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo declared over, now let’s tackle other health challenges: WHO chief

2014 will bring more European Union for the big guys and less for the weak

UN human rights chief warns of women’s rights complacency

Energy: EU priority projects should be aligned with 2050 climate objectives

Doctors are humans too: the benefits of embracing your mental status

EU4FairWork: Commission launches campaign to tackle undeclared work

EU-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement sees the light as Moscow’s reaction once more looms

Brexit: European Council adopts decision to extend the period under Article 50

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Pakistan

Coronavirus (COVID-19): The truth against the myths

How technology is leading us to new climate change solutions

Dozens of children at risk as clashes in Hudaydah near hospital – UNICEF

Why symbols of injustice matter and what to do with them

Italy’s dilemma after Merkel-Hollande agreed loose banking union

You will be eating replacement meats within 20 years. Here’s why

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

EU Copyright Directive: Google News threatens to leave Europe while media startups increasingly worry

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker’s visit to the White House

Parmesan cheese on shelves in Italy (Copyright: European Union, 2014 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Daniela Giusti)

CETA at risk again: Italy says it won’t ratify EU-Canada trade deal over product protection fears

Big oil’s climate pledges will fail without workforce equality

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