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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can you tell what is chronic stress and what is acute stress?

    I'm a manager of a large team of 40 staff and work in a highly stressful and competitive environment. How can i tell the difference between the different stress levels of my staff. When should i start to take action? What are the signs?
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  • Claire Kerslake

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator

    Claire Kerslake is a Credentialed Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse and Health Coach based in Deniliquin in country New South Wales. Claire is the founder of … View Profile

    Stress whether it is acute or chronic, causes a number of responses in the body, some of which will be evident and some hidden.  The stress response was designed to help us survive a threat and has been described as the fight & flight response. Stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released, and effects in the body include increasing the heart rate and blood pressure and blood glucose levels  and blood is diverted from digestion and to the skeletal muscles.  

    The problem with working in a stressful environment is that the stress experienced is chronic and ongoing.  It can cause a variety of ongoing problems such as insomnia, irritability, decreased quality of life, depression, elevated cholesterol levels, and an imbalanced immune system.  Serious, life threatening conditions such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer also have strong links to stress.

    Even if someone isn't exhibiting any outward signs of being affected by stress, it is likely that it is causing these physiological responses in your staff.  

    Workplace programs to reduce stress might include meditation and mindfulness training for staff.

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