The Relationship between Occupational Stress Religiosity and Mental Well being

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Job stress is perceived differently and experienced differently; in different spheres of life. According to Vokic and Bogdanic, (2007), in Croatia; there is high level of perceived stress in respondents with three or more children; over 50 years of age, those working as marketers, at middle level; those working in procurement. There are also significantly low levels of stress in those less than 30 years, those working in HR, finance, and production; and having only one child (Vokic & Bogdanic, 2007). Their study was able to separate working hours and gender from the perception of stress. Apart from all these departments, working in a hospital is another thing. Hospitals run every hour, everyday; since calamities are not limited by time; leaving the question as to how much stress health care professionals would have to put up with. In terms of time and emotional labour; and other forms of professional focus; the stress might be worthy of consideration if something tangible is to be done about it. Job stress is relevant in our society being that it is the cause of the maladaptive coping present in the Nigerian system whereby; up to the political class; they choose the escapism of corruption and amassing wealth for their unborn generations to cope with the rigour of making decisions that affect multitudes of people.

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A personal report of a State Commissioner of Works has complaints of a never ending headache due to the rigour of having to manage so many building projects at the same time; especially since she was the honest type. She had to deal with a lot of corrupt contractors and middlemen who end up crippling the project to a halt. She used to travel a lot; and said she still has that pain in her head till date. In her report; I noticed that after having a hard time with these corrupt personnel for 4 years; by the fourth year, she decided to register a company as a contractor and join them in getting contract; though it is not clear whether she became a corrupt person; the narrative still shows that the urgency of coping with the situation led her to join the people she was having a hard time with. Now, from home, she controls a lot of people; and doesn’t care anymore how corrupt they are; in so far as she has gotten her share; I will withhold her name for confidentiality sake. This goes to show that job stress can even lead to corrupt practices; apart from affecting the individual’s performance in the organization, it might make group of them collude to fight the unfair environment by defrauding it. In the public sector, their main weapon of coping is Absenteeism; given that they cannot be queried so much because of their job stability; they end up giving excuses to work only 4 hours a day, 3 days a week. Some of them cannot wait to be Oga, and delegate all their duties and take a vacation to the Bahamas.

This however is not tenable in many cases because Ogas are few; and this makes the junior employees come radically late; and take all sort of days off. Job stress is real and might tell on the individual; depending on the kind of individual the person is; job stress might affect the organizational productivity. Background of the study In every organization, there are elements that are uncomfortable; and might be perceived differently by each employee. This includes working conditions, workload; pay and many other factors that influences how the employee eventually perceives the work that he/she does. In the situation where these conditions become overwhelming it could become a source of stress to the employee. The difference in perception is due to the fact that each employee experiences the organization in his/her own manner. For example, a workplace might be a walk away from Employee A’s residence; but might be a 4 hour drive from Employee B’s residence. Waking up early and facing the traffic in order to meet up with work hours can be a source of stress to the employee; but this is peculiar in the sense that same workplace is a stroll away for another employee. For example, in other cases like working in Lekki, or Victoria Island; and having to stay close by and pay house rent; The house rent can be disheartening; for example, a doctor at Military Hospital, Ikoyi that is being paid 100,000; and needs to stay at Ikoyi to meet up with the demanding nature of the health care profession; will be amazed at the rates of renting of accommodation in the axes. For example, in Ikoyi itself; and in Obalende; the employee is faced either with the financial stressor of accepting the strain and renting an apartment with rent worth more than half of his annual salary; or the stress of transporting his/herself from afar. Further, after the stressor of location of workplace; the employee might also be stressed by the hours of the work week. The healthcare clinic/hospital being a 24 hour operating facility; demands that personnel be placed on duty every hour; almost like a factory that has constant demands of overtime and shift labour.

The healthcare personnel in this case are offering skilled professionalism, rather than routine exercise. There is no way that this is not going to be stressful, given the fact that anyone can be selected to occupy any slot of time. The only leeway is that the duty rotations are pasted almost every month so that they can prepare their minds ahead of time (doctors especially). Apart from the time and nature of work-week; there is also the environmental stressor of constantly being in the range of being infected should he/she let his/her guard down; handling critical cases; that have different ranges; and some have overstayed and have become chronic; bleeding patients; obscene imagery; and all sorts. The healthcare worker becomes acclimatized to all these; but gradually, the build up might result in nasty outbursts once in a while. There is no doubt that the nature of healthcare work is stressful; and this is the basis of this study. Healthcare workers have information about healthy habits and lifestyle; but for the mere fact that they are health workers, their lifestyle exposes them to stressors. At the heart of a stressful situation is either coping or a build up that would result in burnout, fatigue, absenteeism; regret; resignation; I hate my job cacophony; and so on. It is needful for us to explore whether these are the cause of all psychological problems that might have ever resulted among health personnel.

Whenever a doctor is overloaded, he gives the signal that he doesn’t want to see any patient for now; but so does the teller at the bank and the cashier at the mall when the machine has a problem; so, there is something special about the healthcare profession that makes this study focus on it. The main reason is that it would be disastrous if the doctors themselves become patients and then who will take care of the patients. We have to be able to say with some measure of research and scientific evidence that there is a relationship between the occupational stress experienced by these healthcare workers and their wellbeing psychologically; which would mean that more stress would result in more problems. Statement of the Problem Akintayo, D.I., (2012) in his study; found that occupational stress has a significant impact on job satisfaction, organizational commitment. Akintayo, (2012) also elicited that occupational stress affects the attitude of workers; making them gradually detest their job role; and the organization as a whole. Abu, (2004) in his study of hospital nurses; using 263 American nurses an 40 nurses from other countries, via a Web-based survey; found that perceived support from co-workers increase performance and reduce job stress; and saliently showed that high job stress would result in flailing performance from employees. There is rising levels of suicide in the country; due to the fact that economic conditions necessitate more work ethic than ever; and people are working long hours and facing higher levels of job stress. Some expatriates in oil and gas companies have scattered sleep of aggregate 2 hours 30 minutes because the oil company deals with different time zones all over the world; so, literally, these expatriates never sleep; they only rest their head once in a while.

In the hospitals, even on public holidays and days of celebrations, there are always emergencies; giving a sense of indispensability to the health care worker; in terms of time commitment. Even though there are leave policies; but the actual work day might be so haphazard; and it would affect both the individual and the work. Take for example, a surgery that started today; and as a Doctor, tomorrow is my day off; but when tomorrow comes, the surgery is still going on; and I can’t leave the patient; and to top it up, there is significant power outage; meaning someone has to hover a rechargeable lamp over a sterile exposed human fascia. Since this defeats the ethics of cleanliness; and would make the place so sweaty; I have to endure till it is all over, and my day off is over; and I resume again. The effect is that since there was probably no sleep; a part of my head or back will be numb; and many other stress symptoms; This is a sample narrative from a doctor on how stressful their work can be. The working conditions are not helping matters since Nigeria is a country with erratic power supply; the hospital has to regulate power by priority, with the Intensive Care Unit being the number one priority as power outage might result in mass death; and drug store and lab HVAC being the next; as power outage might result in loss of both specimen and serum, drugs worth millions. These leave even the emergency room to suffer because the priority is quite low; and resulting poor working conditions should any power outage come. The job satisfaction is hampered upon and these personnel are always praying and saving up to leave the country and serve somewhere they will be more respected; and paid more; with better conditions. There is need to examine this relationship with a view to making noteworthy recommendations that might improve the work life of health care personnel and reduce their job stress. Objectives of the Study 1. To examine the relationship between work stress and general well being 2.

To examine the relationship between religiosity and perceived work stress 3. To assess age and gender differences in perceived work stress Significance of the study This study is related to many other studies that have being conducted in the field of organizational effectiveness and industrial psychology; it also relates closely to well being studies; in terms of correlates of psychological wellness. This study however does not just stop at analyzing a Nigerian sample; which has been done before in other studies (Oyeleke, 2017); but it continues in terms of understanding whether religiosity might play a role in reducing the work stress on the individual; thereby being related to well being in the process. While other studies have focused on the relationship between health and religiosity; in this study, we will be analyzing how the level of religiosity might influence the individual’s perception of the job stress involved in fulfilling his/her day to day duties at work. Scope of the study This study covers the Nigerian context; particularly the more populated setting which is Lagos State; which is a densely populated state. However, the study focuses on health care givers; particularly Doctors, Nurses in the health care environment. This study narrows down on how work stress influences health care personnel in the Nigerian setting; and whether religiosity might be found to play an active role or not in the perception of work stress and consequently in the wellbeing of the workers. Operational Definition of Variables Psychological Well-Being: For the purpose of this study, the psychological well being will be defined based on the score of the respondents on the 28 items of the General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg and Hillier, 1979).

Work Stress: For the purpose of this study, work stress will be defined as the level of perceived work discrepancy as reported in the questionnaire the Workplace Stress Scale; after scoring using Linkert scale analysis. Religiosity: For the purpose of analysis, religiosity will be defined based on the score on the Religiosity scale of Agbo, (2010).

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The Relationship Between Occupational Stress Religiosity And Mental Well Being. (2020, Mar 10). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from
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