Stress, work overload, burnout, and satisfaction among paramedics in Israel

Nurit Nirel*, Rachel Goldwag, Zvi Feigenberg, David Abadi, Pinchas Halpern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The number of paramedics in Israel is increasing. Despite this growth and important role, the emergency medical organizations lack information about the characteristics of their work.Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the characteristics of the paramedics' work, the quality of their working lives, the factors that keep them in the profession, or conversely, draw them away from it.Methods: Cross-sectional study conducted through telephone interviews of a random sample of 50% of the graduates of paramedic courses in Israel (excluding conscripted soldiers).Results: The factors that attract paramedics to the profession have much to do with the essence of the job - rescuing and saving - and a love of what it involves, as well as interest and variety. Pressures at work result from having to cope with a lack of administrative support, paperwork, long hours, imbalance between work and family life, and salary. They do not come from having to cope with responsibility, the pressure of working under uncertain conditions, and the sudden transition from calm situations to emergencies. Dissatisfaction at work is caused by burnout, work overload, and poor health. Physical and mental health that impedes their ability to work is related to a sense of burnout and the intention to change professions.Conclusions: The findings about the relationships between health, job satisfaction, and burnout, coupled with the fact that within a decade, half of the currently employed paramedics will reach an age at which it is hard for them to perform their job, lead to the conclusion that there is a need to reconsider the optimum length of service in the profession. There also is a need to form organizational arrangements to change the work procedures of aging paramedics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-546
Number of pages10
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Israel
  • burnout
  • emergency medical services
  • paramedics
  • satisfaction
  • stress
  • work overload

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