Testing the impact of emotional labor on work exhaustion for three distinct emergency medical service (EMS) samples

  • Blau G
  • Bentley M
  • Eggerichs-Purcell J
  • 66

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 9

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Purpose – This paper’s aim is to study a neglected relationship: testing the impact of emotional labor on the work exhaustion for samples of emergency medical service (EMS) professionals. Design/methodology/approach – Three distinct samples of EMS professionals, i.e. emergency medical technician (EMT) – basic, EMT – intermediate, and paramedic, were surveyed to test the impact of three variable sets, personal (e.g. gender, age, health), work-related (e.g. years of service, job satisfaction), and emotional labor (i.e. surface acting, deep acting) on work exhaustion. Findings – Results across the three samples consistently showed that surface acting had a significantly stronger positive impact than deep acting on work exhaustion. In addition it was found that surface acting had a significantly stronger negative relationship to job satisfaction than deep acting. Surface acting also had a significant negative relationship to perceived health. Years of service were positively related to work exhaustion across all samples, while job satisfaction was negatively related. Practical implications – Work exhaustion is an occupational risk for EMS professionals. Individuals considering EMS as a career must have realistic expectations and information about the rewards as well as challenges facing them. To help buffer the impact of emotional labor on work exhaustion and related outcomes, EMS stakeholders should consider facilitating mentor and/or peer support group programs to enhance the development of stronger camaraderie in different EMS-based organizations (e.g. hospitals, fire services). Originality/value – Prior research has not tested for the impact of emotional labor on work exhaustion for EMS professionals. Even after controlling for personal and work-related variables, surface acting maintained a stronger positive impact than deep acting on work exhaustion. Key demographics for each of the three samples (type of work, community size, gender) indicate representativeness to previous cohort samples of nationally certified EMS professionals. KeywordsWork exhaustion,Emotional labour,Emergencymedical service,Stress,Workingconditions, Individual psychology,Medical personnel Paper

Author-supplied keywords

  • Emergency medical service
  • Emotional labour
  • Individual psychology
  • Medical personnel
  • Stress
  • Work exhaustion
  • Working conditions

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Gary Blau

  • Melissa A. Bentley

  • Jennifer Eggerichs-Purcell

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free