Learning for life: stress

Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development 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. Stress can be described as the result of an imbalance between:

a) The demands of a situation and the coping resources of an individual
b) The demands of the individual and the situation
c) The coping stressors and the resources available
d) The stressor resources and their demands

2. The hormones released at times of stress are:

a) Insulin and thyroxin
b) Corticotrophin and thyrotrophin
c) Adrenaline and epinephrine
d) Oestrogen and testosterone

3. Doctors and nurses are more likely to take time off with stress than

a) Back problems
b) Colds
c) Migraine
d) Accidents

4. What personal concerns affect the NHS on a daily basis?

a) Low morale, poor management and job dissatisfaction
b) Ill-health, poor management and job dissatisfaction
c) Ill-health, low morale and poor management
d) Ill-health, low morale and job dissatisfaction

5. The NHS is the largest employer in:

a) Britain
b) The UK
c) Europe
d) The world

6. Cutting sickness rates by 1 per cent would save more than:

a) £1,400
b) £14,000
c) £140,000
d) £140,000,000

7. What is fundamental for stress reduction?

a) A personal action plan?
b) A personal professional action plan?
c) A professional action plan?
d) A professional development plan?

8. What provides important insights into stress levels within an

a) Work habits, length and pattern of sickness absence
b) Work habits and accident reports
c) Accident reports and sickness absence rates
d) Work habits and the work environment

9. Which of the following does not go a long way to improving

a) Listening to staff concerns
b) Involving staff in decision-making
c) Clear guidelines on staff health department opening times
d) Establishing clear lines of responsibility

10. Stress can be useful:

a) Never, because it makes you ill
b) Sometimes, in challenging situations
c) Never, because it is always bad for you
d) Sometimes, but only in small doses


Discuss what you understand by the term stress with your colleagues. Find out
if you all agree with what you believe stress to be; 2. c) Using a
physiology textbook refresh your knowledge of the endocrine system and
particularly the hormones produced during stress; 3. b) Recent research
from Finland shows that nurses are more likely to take sick leave than doctors.
Carry out a literature search for more information on this topic; 4. d); 5.
c); 6. d)
Read the article "What is the best way to assess the risks
of stress" in March 2001 issue of Occupational Health; 7. a); 8. a); 9.
c); 10. b)

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