In 1936 Hans Selye came up with a stress model, which he called General Adaptation Syndrome.
He organised this into 3 stages (Figure 2). “Stress is the body’s biological response to an actual or perceived stressor” (PsycheteacherUK, n.d.), and at the alarm stage, the body’s fight or flight response system is triggered releasing stress hormones (adrenalin, noradrenalin, and cortisol), (Sincero, 2012).People experience stress differently, with the reactions to it depending on the pathways and responses caused by different situations or events.Although differing with each individual, there are a few common, general factors to the stress response. As stress moves into the resistance stage, the body is trying to recover from the stressor, but remains on high alert.
If the stressor continues, this can cause irritability, aggressiveness and impatience, anxiety, nervousness, racing thoughts, and a host of psychological and physical manifestations.”If adrenaline levels remain raised, this strains the body and can lead to pain, fatigue and mental effects. This effect is replicated in other processes causing raised blood pressure, muscle tension, and hormonal imbalance causing immune weakness.” (The Physiological Society, n.
d.). This is when we have reached exhaustion stage.As a response then, stress requires a trigger, or perceived threat. My main stressor is workload and the amount of responsibility I carry. I feel the need to achieve everything at once, and not stop until it is done.
This makes me feel weighed down, and causes even normal everyday tasks to become perceived as threats.When beginning my journey to become a Radiographer one of the first things I learned was the 6 C’s. One of these C’s being Commitment, I was aware there would be challenges to overcome, and committed to becoming the best Radiographer I can. This means actively working on my own qualities to ensure I can deliver Care and Compassion, with effective Communication, Courage and Competence, a strategy built on the foundation of the Francis Report.The effects of stress and its symptoms was apparent during my two weeks clinical induction, and having to manage this new demand caused stress to pose a threat to my personal life which consequently may threaten my academic success, becoming one of the greatest threats to the professional requirements in my role as a professional radiographer. It’s always been true that alongside healthcare’s genuinely rewarding nature, it’s also one of the most stressful professions too (Medmeetings, 2018).If these symptoms were not managed effectively, this would directly impact on my ethical practice. HCPC Section 2 states, “You should be polite and considerate to service users, other students, and staff”.
Unmanaged stress could result in me responding irritably to a service user, resulting in patient complaints, or at worst legal implications.In my CPD I spoke about the feeling that my notes and paperwork were not suitably organised. To be seen as a good role model and valued as trustworthy, organisation where notes and documentation are involved; which could contain important and confidential patient data, is vital. However, in the process of analysing my stress, I realised that this feeling is simply due to my excessive worrying, and not a true problem.Actively seeking strategies and coping mechanisms can help ensure that stress and the resulting symptoms do not impact negatively on my views of myself and my ability to “keep information about service users and carers confidential, and only use it for the purpose it was given” (HCPC, 2016).
As a radiographer “For each medical exposure the dose of ionising radiation to the individual undergoing the exposure is to be kept as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) and consistent with the intended diagnostic or therapeutic purpose. All relevant dose information for each patient exposure should be recorded” (SOR, 2018).Stress related fatigue and cognitive impairment, can result in lapses in concentration and lead to mistakes being made. If errors in dose exposure are made, this would not only endanger patient safety, but would also be a breach of the IR(ME)R 2000 and IR(ME) Amendment Regulations 2006 & 2011. “The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000 (IR(ME)R 2000) is legislation aimed at the protection of the patient against the hazards associated with ionising radiation.
It is made as criminal law rather than civil law” (SOR, 2018).In my CPD I discussed how I feel about maintaining my honesty and trustworthiness as a radiographer, however without serious personal reflection, and actively seeking out ways to manage and adapt to stress I could easily succumb to its effects, causing my character to become questionable. The HCPC states of the standards of conduct, performance, and ethics; “The standards help us make decisions about the character of the people who apply to join our Register”.Making potentially life-threatening mistakes, and causing my character, or fitness to practise to be questioned could jeopardise my position as a radiographer and see me reported to the HCPC if clear breaches of these standards were made, as the HCPC state, “When we are deciding whether we need to take any action against a registrant to protect the public, we look at whether the registrant has met these standards” (HCPC, 2016).