Emergency workers' reactions to traumatic incidents.
As the past decade has witnessed a growing interest in the nature, causes and management of stress reactions in emergency workers, the present study examined emergency workers' reactions to traumatic work related incidents. Furthermore, although Job Dissatisfaction and Increased levels of Turnover have been identified in literature and research on emergency workers as being behavioural manifestations of the traumatic stress associated with emergency work, the effect of occupational trauma on these variables has not been documented extensively in trauma literature or research. A second aim of the study was therefore to provide further insight into the effects of work related trauma on these constructs. Moreover, although literature on emergency workers has not documented the impact of occasional trauma on Job Involvement, the present study undertook to examine the effects of trauma on tnis construct. The study was considered to be exploratory in this regard. By examining how exposure to occupational trauma impacts on Job Satisfaction, Job involvement and Propensity to Leave, it was hoped that this will lead to a better understanding of the effects of occupational trauma and its implications for employees and organisations alike. One hundred full-time paramedics completed a self-report questionnaire. The questionnaire also included questions to obtain demographic variables as it has been documented that the relationship between exposure to traumatic events and the expression of distress is constructed by personal factors. In addition, qualitative data pertaining to the constructs under investigation was obtained from 30 paramedics. The reported symptoms revealed that 17% of the sample was suffering from rrso. Correlational analyses using a non-experimental, cross-sectional design, revealed a significant relationship between PTSD and Job Satisfaction. A non-significant relationship was found between PTSD and both Job Involvement and Propensity to Leave, Of the demographic variables measured, stepwise regression analysis. revealed that gender and previous exposure to trauma were the most efficient predictors of PTSD Content Analyses performed on the qualitative data indicated that paramedics were subjected to numerous job stressors which seemed to associated to Job Involvement and Propensity to Leave. The results of the study are discussed with respect of the literature reviewed and limitations and implications of these findings are discussed thereafter. Lastly implications of the present study for future research are presented.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Masters).
EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL--MENTAL HEALTH--SOUTH AFRICA. , EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL--SOUTH AFRICA--JOB STRESS. , POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER--PREVENTION. , STRESS MANAGEMENT.