2.1.3 Impact of poor time management


2.1.3 Impact of poor time management

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Cost to the individual

The RCN’s Beyond Breaking Point survey of over 2,000 nursing staff found 55% had been made unwell by stress over the previous year and 82% had gone to work despite feeling too ill to do.

The most significant health problems related to stress include:

  • heart disease (ie. high blood pressure and also stress behaviours impact on the heart – eg. smoking, obesity etc)
  • Asthma – parent’s chronic stress is linked to childhood asthma
  • Obesity – stress hormone cortisol increases the fat deposits around the abdomen – which is really bad for your health _ better to be a pear than and apple
  • Diabetes – stress can make it worse by increasing poor eating and drinking behaviours and can also raise glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes
  • Headaches and migraine
  • Depression and anxiety – chronic stress is connected with higher rates of depression and anxiety. For example, it was found in one study that people with more stressful jobs (ie. jobs that were more demanding and had fewer rewards) were 80% more likely to develop depression with a few years than those with less stressful jobs.
  • Gastrointestinal problems like chronic heart burn and IBS – can also make ulcers worse.
  • Alzheimer’s disease – One study on animals found that stress can actually make brain lesions to form more quickly.

The reason that stress can have such a devastating physical and mental impact – even though it is just an emotion – it causes quite distinct physiological reactions in our bodies – especially increasing our adrenaline and cortisol.

Cost to organisations:

Dawn O’Neil, chief executive, Lifeline Australia says the median compensation payment for Australian workers in all industries is $6,100. But for mental stress, that figures rises to $15,500.” This is 3 times more than the average for any other type of claim (Safe Work Australia).

A national survey for Lifeline Australia found that people who work in the health and community services sector are the most stressed out in the country.

Nurses came in ahead of those working within religious services, public order, interest groups and the hire sector.

Cost to you

Female nurse managers had a very high frequency of compensation rate per hours worked. In fact it was the highest rate per hours worked of any females employed, and at a rate 11 times the average for women.

Put your oxygen mask on first!

A central role of the nurse manager – or any manager for that matter is to create an environment that is psychologically safe for their team. But you can’t do that if you are unable to make it safe for yourself first – and this is the reason why the air attendant tells you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before your child – you can’t help anyone if you are not fully functioning yourself.


  • How does stress affect you?
  • What are you doing about it?


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