Understanding Healthcare Provider Stress to Improve Paediatric Healthcare

By Andrew Tomayer, CPDSN Data Analyst

The stress that front-line healthcare workers experience, including paramedics, front-line nurses and physicians and inpatient healthcare professionals, is immense in the Canadian healthcare system. The healthcare professionals experiencing such stress have been found to develop a variety of psychological problems from burnout and fatigue to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

For example, in a systematic review by Sterud, Ekeberg and Hem (2006), over 20% of EMS workers were found to suffer from symptoms of PTSD among most studies reviewed [1]. Nurses and other front-line healthcare workers are also susceptible to stress and its impact on their mental health.

Methods to mitigate stress is one area being explored by paediatric healthcare facilities to improve the livelihoods of their employees as well as the care received by paediatric patients. Research by Bonnie Jennings (2008) noted that the inclusion of workplace supports is vital in stress reduction and interpersonal exchanges between staff members are believed to improve the trust and respect among one another as well as increase the feelings of positivity in an organization [2].

The work being done by the Critical Incidence Stress Management (CISM) team supports the healthcare professionals at Alberta Children’s Hospital using such methods to both manage stress and in turn provide more positive care. The implementation of a CISM team to help manage workload and other stressors involved in paediatric care have shown to reduce in staff having sick days and lowering the job turnaround at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

This and much more information will be presented by Renee Kampman and Emma Folz on February 28 with their CAPHC Presents! Webinar:

Critical Incident Stress Management: A Contribution to a Healthy Workplace

February 28, 2018 from 11:00-12:00 EST

Presented by Renee Kampman and Emma Folz of Alberta Children’s Hospital


1.  Sterud, T., Ekeberg, O. and Hem, E. (2006). Health status in the ambulance services: a systematic review. BMC Health Services Research (6:82). Available from https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-6-82

2.  Jennings, B. (2008). Chapter 26: Work Stress and Burnout Among Nurses: Role of the Work Environment and Working Conditions. In Hughes, R.G. (Eds.), Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville, MD, USA: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2668/?report=printable