Working in emergency medicine can be challenging, and healthcare workers are subjected to a variety of pressures (1). Critical incident exposure, workplace aggression, unpredictability, workload, and time pressure are among them. Additional environmental stressors in the prehospital context include traffic safety concerns and unexpected accident scenes (2). Several studies have demonstrated the alarming prevalence of burnout syndrome, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other related health difficulties among first responders and emergency medical service personnel (3)(4)(5)(6)(7). Furthermore, those stressors might cause hostility, aggression, absenteeism, and turnover among emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
Job stress refers to the psychological stress caused by the imbalance between the needs of the target and the individual's ability to adapt to specific job conditions (8). Job stress is one of the most important workplace health risks among employees worldwide (9). One of the complications of modern life is the presence of stress in the workplace (10). It is a common condition of the 21st century that affects people in a variety of conditions and is responsible for absenteeism among health- care workers (11). 137.3 million working days were lost to due to sickness and injury as it is estimated by the UK national statitsics (12). This is only the material dimension of the issue of stress; in addition, stress has a significant impact on employees, their families, and patients (9).
In 2021, job stress (new or long-standing) was the biggest work-related health issue in the UK, which accounted for 50% of all job-related illnesses with an incidence rate of 2,480 per 100,000(13). The cost of sickness and stress-related absenteeism is estimated at 4 billion pounds a year(12). Numerous studies have shown that the job stress experienced by the pre-hospital emergency staff is significantly higher than that of other healthcare workers because they are the first people to be present in a variety of emergencies, from fatal accidents to minor injuries and illnesses (14)(15). Meanwhile, emergency medical technicians face stressful environments such as congested areas and critically ill patients where it is difficult to work (16).
Neglecting the ongoing stress that is inflicted on employees, particularly healthcare workers, would eventually result in a lack of motivation and morale in the staff (17). There is enormous capital lost annually due to the lack of physical and mental health of employees, impaired performance, quitting, and changing jobs due to job stress. Stress and its complications result in the loss of hundreds of working days each year. About 30% of the workforce in developed countries suffers from job stress. The International Labor Organization also estimates that the costs incurred by countries due to job stress are about 1 to 3.5% of GDP and are currently increasing (18)(19).
Work-related quality of life (WRQoL) is an organizational culture or management style in which employees feel ownership, self-reliance, responsibility, and self-esteem(20). WRQoL is a multidimensional structure that includes several concepts such as welfare measures, health services, incentive plans, job fit, job security, job design, importance to the role and position of the individual in the organization, providing growth and development, participation in decision making, reducing job conflicts and ambiguities and education(21). According to the research, companies that provide a better work quality of life for their employees are more successful in retaining their valuable employees and have higher profitability (22). However, job stress reduces the WRQoL and increases the risk of work-related injuries. The WRQoL is critical for organizations to be able to attract and retain human resources (23).
Job stress in emergency medical technicians is typically higher than in other professionals, and since they are often the first healthcare team exposed to different stressful conditions and sick patients, the nature of the job and its contents are in a high level of stress. Research evidence related to job stress among EMTs is limited in the study area. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the relationship between job stress and quality of work-life among Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) in Lorestan Province, Western Iran in 2019.