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Stress-an occupational health hazard in school teachers

Author: 
Dr. Ravi Sunder, R. and Dr. Neelima, P.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

There has been an increasing level of stress among the school teachers who shoulder diverse responsibilities. To detect the stress levels, a model stress questionnaire was circulated among 116 school teachers of a private school after taking informed consent. The response was obtained from 98 teachers of which 72 were female staff. Leading questions were asked whether they had experienced any stress symptom in the last year. The questions included eighteen stress symptoms. A three grade choice having options of “never experienced”, “sometimes” and “very often” was given and were asked to tick the most appropriate choice. Questions on how they feel at work were also asked. Remaining part of the questionnaire included the number of work hours per week and factors for increased work load apart from the demographic data. The final column was given to explain the cause of stress, if any, in their own words and any suggestions of their choice. The teachers were requested to fill the questionnaire with a calm mind. Results reflect a high level of stress among the school teachers. Headaches and pains were the most common (82.65%) stress symptoms complained of. 42.85% of the teachers were overtired often due to work load. The other results were also evaluated. 22.44% were working for more than 51 hrs per week. Increased student number and meeting the targets were the commonest factors for increased work load as opined by 63.26% and 60.20% of teachers respectively. When asked to describe any other problems or suggestions in their own words, 29.59% suggested implementing government leave pattern could relieve some stress. This data reflects stress as an occupational hazard amongst teachers from a private school of Visakhapatnam city. There is every need to take preventive measures and to adopt easy methods to reduce stress related problems. A conducive work atmosphere will enable the teacher to deliver his/her duties perfectly resulting in ideal moulding of the future generation.

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