Learning for life: mental health

Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are the
processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their

There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,
study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.
Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-date
with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifying
what you have learnt is not always easy. These questions are designed to help
you to identify what you have learnt from studying the article. They will also
help you to clarify what you can apply to practice, what you did not understand
and what you need to explore further.

1. Burn-out occurs where there are excessive demands on:

a) Work, strength or resources
b) Energy, work or resources
c) Energy, strength or resources
d) Energy, strength or work

2. Which of the following is NOT a symptom of burn-out?

a) Alcohol abuse
b) Depression
c) High blood pressure
d) Anaemia

3. What skills do OH practitioners need to acquire to be heard?

a) Marketing
b) Presentation
c) Accounting
d) Clinical

4. How many personality types did Freudenberger identify?

a) 2
b) 3
c) 4
d) 5

5. In order to manage food stress what should you drink each day?

a) A litre of water
b) Anything so long as it’s liquid
c) Fruit juice
d) Two units of wine

6. How many points are there in the emotional toolkit?

a) 3
b) 4
c) 5
d) 6

7. Which phrase best sums up the marketing toolkit?

a) It’s about lack of vision
b) It’s about thinking out of the OH box into the business that they are
operating in
c) It’s about pandering to the client
d) It’s about thinking out of the business into OH

8. Speak the right language does NOT mean?

a) Communicating effectively at meetings
b) Chairing meetings
c) Using business language
d) Talking medical/clinical matters

9. What is the term for when stress controls you?

a) Eustress
b) Distress
c) Positive stress
d) Stress

10. How would you optimise a good night’s sleep?

a) Have a glass or two of wine
b) Go clubbing until late
c) Take your work home to do until you fall asleep
d) Keep work out of the bedroom


1 c); 2 d) Although anaemia may result from eating an unhealthy diet!
3 a) All these skills are important to the OH nurse but marketing is the
one skill we may need to seek more help with. Try the booklet 30 minutes to
market yourself by Tony Atherton published by Kogan Page 1999 £3.00
(www.kogan-page.co.uk). 4 b) Review your knowledge of personality types
in a work and/or psychology book. Discuss with a colleague what type of
personality you are. 5 a); 6 c) Each of the five points is very
valuable, but for the OHP there is also clinical supervision, which should help
with the emotional aspects of practice. Revise your knowledge of clinical
supervision in OH practice or read the RCN leaflet Clinical Supervision in the
Workplace: A guide for occupational health nurses, free from the RCN, code no:
001 549. 7 b) So often we, as OHPs lose sight of the fact that the business
is there to do something other than look after the health of the workforce, and
that OH is only a small part. Make notes about what you think are the important
aspects of your organisation. 8 d) Are you well versed with the meeting
culture? Look in the 30 minute series for a booklet on meetings. 9 b)
Review the article on mental well-being at work in the July issue of
Occupational Health and read the RCN leaflet Managing your Stress: A guide for
nurses, free from the RCN, code no 001 484. 10 d) Need I say more…?

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