Generating health elicits illness? The contradictions of work performed in emergency care units of public hospitals

Iana Vasconcelos Moreira Rosado Gláucia Helena Araújo Russo Eulália Maria Chaves Maia About the authors

Abstract

In general terms, health is influenced and generated by the interaction of biological, social, economic, political and cultural factors. From this standpoint, the scope of this paper was to analyze the relationship between working in emergency care units of public hospitals and the health/sickness of the professionals who work in them. It involved a quantitative and qualitative survey, in which 240 health professionals (doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, dentists, nutritionists, audiologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists) filled out a questionnaire. All the results acknowledged the importance of work to ensure favorable conditions for good health. However, they highlighted its deleterious physical and mental effects on workers, which included stress, lack of a healthy life-style, high blood pressure and musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and sleep disorders. It is therefore important to tackle this reality in order to enhance the health of professionals and, consequently, the quality of care provided to the user, since illnesses among health workers are strongly linked to the existing health model in society.

Key words
Health; Illness; Work; Occupational health; Public hospitals

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