Learning for life: Stress management

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

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.What percentage of European Union workers experience stress at work?

a) 48
b) 38
c) 28
d) 58

2. Who needs to be involved in policy development?

a) Managing director
b) Stakeholders
c) Line managers
s) Experts

3. What sort of committee needs to be established?

a) Steering
b) Standing
c) Health and safety
d) Sub-committee

4. What sort of approach should the committee take?

a) Authoritarian
b) Utilitarian
c) Liberal
d) Democratic

5. Which of the following is NOT an objective of the stress policy?

a) To communicate commitment
b) To raise awareness
c) To decide blame
d) To clarify roles

6. The implementation of a stress policy should be facilitated in which
three ways?

a) Communicated, supported, business procedures
b) Communicated, supported, management and staff accept responsibilities
c) Communicated, business procedures, management and staff accept
responsibilities
d) Business procedures, supported, management and staff accept responsibilities

7. Which is NOT the way for longer-term effects of the policy to be
assessed?

a) Changes in rates of absence related to stress
b) Performance
c) Use of counselling services
d) Use of disciplinary procedures

8. Who should be encouraged to take ownership of the policy?

a) Management and staff
b) Occupational health
c) Health and safety officer
d) Personnel

9. Which is NOT a stage of policy development in this article?

a) General principles
b) Partnership approach
c) Selling the policy
d) Writing the policy

10 What should be carried out once the policy has been implemented?

a) Risk assessment
b) Audit
c) Evaluation
d) Planning

Feedback

1.c).
2.b)
List who in your workplace has an interest and therefore a stake in a
stress policy and identify who would be best to represent their interests on a
policy development committee. 3.a) Write short notes on what you
understand about each different type of committee. If you are not sure of all
the different types of committees, carry out a search for this information. 4.d)
All these words sound quite plausible, but answers a, c and b are all
leadership styles and b is a branch of moral philosophy! Look up each one and
ensure that you understand them and their differences. 5.c) Today’s
society is very much a ‘blame’ culture. However, there are efforts to move away
from this in the workplace. Discuss this with your colleagues. 6.b). 7.d)
See answer to question 5. 8.a) Although this article is about developing
a policy for managing stress, it is also about developing policies per se.
Think how policy development follows the quality assurance and problem-solving
models of assess, plan, implement and evaluate. More about this can be found in
many publications but the HSE’s Successful Health and Safety Management 1997
deals with this topic in depth. 9.d) Of course all these stages are part
of policy development but this stage has not been mentioned in the article! 10.c)
The article actually says ‘evaluation’ but audit would have been correct too.
No policy is worth having unless its effectiveness is measured from time to
time. What policies does your organisation have? How often are they reviewed?
What information is required to monitor their effectiveness? Consider what you can
do to improve the situation if it is not up to standard.

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