Important Signs that an Employee May be Experiencing Emotional Turmoil

Let’s face it—most of us spend the majority of our days at work. Whether we realize it or not, our employees and colleagues in healthcare eventually become a form of family. And, sometimes the people we care about face personal issues that negatively affect their work.

Poor employee performance often stems from unacknowledged emotional turmoil. So, it’s easy for a manager to view her team member as simply slacking-off. Rather than ignore workers’ feelings, intuitive healthcare leaders can learn to recognize the signs of emotional turmoil.

Exhaustion – People suffering from mental anguish can feel perpetually tired. Stress affects sleep patterns. Some folks will sleep longer, while others may battle insomnia. Effective managers must distinguish between exhaustion that results from irresponsible behavior from that which stems from deeper emotional turmoil.

Bad Temper – A nurse or medical worker who suddenly develops an anger problem may not be “unhinged” but rather dealing with personal mental anguish. Consider probing the root of the cause before you assume the worst. If a team member has been pleasant and cooperative in general, their recent turn toward “Negative Town” may have a valid explanation.

Anxiety – Many traits exhibited by those suffering emotional turmoil overlap with each other. Anxiety is one of these conditions that can morph into anger and exhaustion. If one of your happy-go-lucky nurses suddenly frets over trivial work challenges—things she previously would have tackled without a sweat—there’s a chance she’s afflicted with mental anguish.

Anti-Social Behavior – Some employee behavioral traits are hard to diagnose. We all know of team members who could be described as “anti-social.” Many of these folks have been that way their entire lives but still perform job duties well. However, medical workers who traditionally socialize with colleagues typically don’t change overnight. Take notice if your “social butterfly” suddenly turns into the “office loner.”

Substance Abuse – Most managers are keenly aware of worker behavior that may indicate substance abuse issues. This is particularly true in healthcare, where nurses and clinical employees literally hold the lives of others in their hands. However, it’s important that you don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to a team member who uncharacteristically presents with a potential substance challenge. There may be an underlying reason that’s more complicated than simple “irresponsibility.” 

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, most healthcare employees and co-workers are a form of family. It’s important that managers recognize this reality and act with a sense of humanity. People suffering from emotional turmoil often present with behavioral problems. But, you should always try to get to the root of the problem. You may even be able to help the troubled nurse or medical worker by directing her toward appropriate resources!

If your healthcare company or practice is in need of terrific medical professionals, be sure to check out San Diego’s top nurse recruiting agency!


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