Quality of Work & Job Satisfaction Among Health Workers: Moderating Effect of Corona Fear.

AuthorSaini, Garima


First noticed in Wuhan, China in December 2019, Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) transmitted by leaps and bounds constantly threatening human life and increasing the death rate around the world. This virus is named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This study has been using SARS-CoV-2 as Covid-19. Certain segments of populations who have direct exposure to COVID-19 like front-line workers, healthcare workers and marginalized groups experience psychological and physical distress due to fear of contamination with the virus (Mertens et al., 2020). Workers experienced various hardships, to name a few are social isolation; disturbances in daily life (Giuntella et al., 2020); and exhaustion at work. In the current pandemic, health care workers experience the psychological burden in the form of heightened burnout, stress, anxiety and suicide rates (Santarone et al., 2020). Covid-19 accumulated mental health symptoms and psychological distress in health care workers who are delivering their service in this pandemic. Health care workers who are infected with COVID-19 are exposed to longer working hours, suboptimal hand cleanliness and transferred to risky clinical settings. In their isolation period, they experienced emotional and physical deviations. Adding to this, health care workers in this distress were worried about their and their loved ones' health increasing their fear. The challenging environment for the health care workers arises many psychological factors affecting their performance due to lack of control, high demands, less sleep and overtime resulting in burnout (Aronsson et al., 2017).

Various researchers examined the psychological and professional effects of the pandemic on health care workers (Bostan et al.,2020; Rana et al.,2020; Chew et al., 2020; Cai et al., 2020). Health care workers experience mental, emotional, spiritual and physical stress factors affecting their well-being (Dewey et al., 2020). The same concerns are arising about psychological wellbeing, mental health and withdrawal symptoms of health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19. Discouraging health care workers from interacting with loved ones and colleagues increase isolation (Maunder et al; 2003). The changes and the adjustments of the pandemic exert untold pressure on workers worsening their mental health due to the corona fear (Van Agteren et al., 2020; Fiorillo & Gorwood, 2020; Shi et al., 2020; Salari et al., 2020). High emotional exhaustion among health care workers and being less empathic in dealing with patients lead to medical errors and low productivity with higher burnout and turnover rates (Penwell-Waines et al; 2018).

This study acknowledges the arduous duties of the front-line health care workers by understanding them on three parameters of work that are relationship, affection and change through constructs namely social intelligence, emotional stability, and optimism. These three constructs tend to affect another construct, viz. quality of work among health workers. Through all these constructs clouds on job satisfaction are witnessed. Understanding the duties of health care workers who seem fearful of infection and contagion to their family, colleagues and friends (Maunder et al., 2003) Living in this environment for long results in psychological trauma experiencing depression, anxiety and stress symptoms (Lee et al., 2007). Psychological resilience among health care workers varies as different individuals may have different capabilities to cope up with stress and fear (O'Dowd et al., 2018).

Job-Demand Resources Model

Being the most popular framework in occupational health psychology, the job demands-resources model investigates the cognate between employee well-being and job characteristics (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007). The positive psychology description of the theory helps in expressing the motivational process of the JD-R model by concentrating on organizational goals which require additional efforts during excessive demands in a job which adds up to exhaustion and burnout intentions in employees (Demerouti et al.,2001). Fur thermore, these recent observable trends lead to understating the positive aspects of health workers' well-being. The current study justifies the job-demand resources model as the job demands are described as physical, social and organizational aspects which justifies the constructs used. Adding to this employee's wellbeing with job resources and attributes are emphasized with salutogenic and pathogenic effects with its strengths and weaknesses

This model helps in better understanding and stimulating personal growth, learning, and development. The extension of the JD-R model includes the importance of personal resources which examines (optimism, self-efficacy and organizational-based self-esteem) for predicting work engagements and exhaustion (Xanthopoulou et al., 2006, Furthermore, personal resources play a mediating role when the association of work engagement and job resources are studied highlighting the fostering effect of job resources in the development of personal resources.

Demand-Control Model

Demand-control model in occupational health literature in studying the equilibrium between the demands employees are exposed to and the resources they have at their disposal. The stress in the organization particularly due to the combination of high job demands and low job control is emphasized by helping employees in recognizing by deciding how to meet their job demands by not experiencing job strain such as health com plaints, job-related anxiety and exhaustion, and dissatisfaction (Karasek, 1979; 1998.)

Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) Model

Acting as an alternative, ERI-model talks about the rewards rather than the control structure of work (Siegrist, 1996) These models assume job strain as the result of an imbalance between effort and rewards. Lack of reciprocity between rewards and efforts results in stress and arousal as having a demanding and unstable job which lacks in providing security/career opportunities in terms of job security, status consistency and salary promotion prospects, are examples of a stressful imbalance and cardiovascular risks and other strain reactions. Furthermore, combining high effort and low reward in an organization is marked as a risk factor for burnout, mild psychiatric disorders and subjective health (Van Vegchel et al., 2005). Unlike the DCM, the ERI model introduces a personal component model as well as highlights emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction with affirming employees' perception of the working environment.

Review of literature

Social intelligence among professionals helps in maintaining and building relationships of health care workers as it provides foundations for emotional, deterministic and cognitive factors. If properly worked on, social intelligence of professionals helps in achieving personal and organizational success and improves performance. Healthcare organizations integrate social intelligence in the training of physicians which results in a better outcome and patient satisfaction. Health care workers are striving to provide patient-centered care during COVID-19. Managing these relationships needs to understand the importance of social intelligence. This boosts health professionals' relations by building awareness of others, self-management and self-awareness. Patient-centered care is not just in the models but in building relationships and interactions between patients and physicians (Warren et al., 2013). Social intelligence has shown a significant contribution to patient-health worker relationships. This will help in increasing teamwork, organizational commitment, effective leadership, empathy, health worker career satisfaction and proper management during COVID-19. A study demonstrating the relationship between job satisfaction and social intelligence of health care workers shows organizational commitment, retention and positive patient clinical outcomes (Carvalho et al.,2019). Evidence is that social intelligence can be improvised with training which would give a better understanding of behavior and attitude. This helps health workers in adapting specific behaviours and improve interactions with patients.

Social intelligence in health care workers helps in conveying and understanding difficulties of social affairs and surroundings during COVID-19. It affirms the combination of social and self-awareness, approaches having social views and desirable capacity for multifaced social change (Ross, 2015). Social intelligence helps in managing relations ability to manage human relations (Caroline et al.,2014) assisting professionals in attaining employee needs. It helps health care workers to know and understand themselves and others in a social environment by dealing thoughtfully and efficiently with his/her own identity, employing social inputs and a broader understanding of the social environment; empathetic consideration and cooperation with a social acquaintance (Babu et al.,2013).

Emotional stability can be traced in the health sector where practices of strategies using cognitive abilities (social awareness) can be traced from practices revolving around cognitive abilities which is a potent predictor for performance among health workers (Jordan et al., 2017). These psychological assessments in this field vindicated the importance of emotional and social skills in predicting performance and job satisfaction (Gowing, 2001). These skills and workplace behavior raise service quality, innovation, task achievement, employee commitment and exhaustion at work. The stability of emotions helps the individual in controlling emotions and behaving in an unorthodox way helps in coping with stress and fear. This will help lower anxiety thus emotional stability can be utilized in the health sector where they have to face various challenges harmful on both external and internal fronts...

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