Why Self-Care? Maintaining High Job Satisfaction Among Human Service Professionals
Keywords:Job Burnout, Job Satisfaction, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Self-Care, Human Service Professionals
Human services professionals (HSPs) experiencing "secondary traumatic stress" (STS) are at higher risk for job burnout. This study is to examine STS, job satisfaction, and self-care strategies among HSPs. Research questions include (1) what traumatic events were experienced? (2) are STS and job satisfaction related? and (3) What self-care strategies do they use to cope with secondary traumatic stress? Using an online survey, 92 HSPs answered demographic questions and the secondary traumatic stress scale was used to assess the STS resulting from working with traumatized populations. Findings indicated that three STS subscales are negatively correlated to job satisfaction. Independent samples t-test indicated that the STS scores did differ between two different job satisfaction groups. Qualitative findings from 13 interviewees indicated that HSPs experience diverse work-related traumatic events with core themes such as emotionally and mentally taxing situation, a work-life imbalance, little time off and talk, open-dialogue in peer support, professional help, family support, self-care, and a lack of accessibility to resources. Although less diverse participants are study limitations, findings suggest understanding the impact of STS on job satisfaction and developing hands-on self-care strategies are needed.
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