Module 5 – Personal (Psychological and Social) Demands Contributing to Public Health Worker Burnout

Overview and Learning Objectives

In this module, we focus on more personal demands that can be experienced psychologically and socially. After reviewing this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify and describe common psychological factors that public health workers can experience as demands.
  • Identify and describe common social factors that public health workers can experience as demands.
  • Explain how psychosocial demands can contribute to burnout.
Questions for Reflection and/or Discussion with your Team
  1. What are some of the most challenging psychosocial demands you face as a supervisor? What are the most challenging psychosocial demands for the workers you supervise?
  2. How do you notice psychosocial demands affect you in your work and outside of work?
  3. How are psychosocial demands both a personal and organizational issue to address? What is a supervisor’s responsibility in helping to address more personal demands?
  4. As a supervisor, how could you try to minimize psychosocial demands experienced by workers in your team?
Recommended Readings and Resources
  • This Harvard Business Review article by leading workplace mistreatment researchers, The Price of Incivility, explores the costs of incivility in the workplace.
  • If you want to learn more about addressing workplace mistreatment, including violence and aggression that can come from patients/clients/community members, view this NIOSH page about workplace violence. NIOSH also has a violence prevention training for nurses with applications for broader areas of community health services.
  • Learn more about “imposter syndrome” as a form of self-doubt that can affect workers at many stages of their career. This article from the American Psychological Association provides some background and tips for navigating imposter syndrome.
  • Take some time to review NIOSH’s Total Worker Health® approach. How does managing psychosocial demands align with a Total Worker Health® strategy?