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dr Anna Ślifirczyk, dr Paweł Piszcz, dr Marta Kowalenko, dr Martyna Krukowska, dr Katarzyna Jańczuk, dr Marcin Ślifirczyk.


The Department of Emergency Medicine at the Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biała Podlaska is the department, which not only carries out its research and scientific activity, but also influences the functioning of society and economy through the changes it initiates in the broadly understood health care. Numerous conferences, open lectures, trainings, courses organized for various social and professional groups [medical, legal professions, military services] on the subject of stress and occupational burnout confirm the need for interest in this topic. Research on stress and burnout has contributed to the deepening of knowledge and awareness of employees/managers/executive directors of various institutions, who are in charge of groups of people exposed to stress and burnout. The research studies dealt with the knowledge of excessive workload. They touched upon the issue of inadequate matching between personality type and type of work performed, insufficient qualifications, lack of specialized training, and lack of adequate financial motivation. The conducted research regarded the subject of lack of rest and recovery, which can significantly lead to a decrease in motivation, productivity, efficiency, dissatisfaction with work, conflicts, stress, and even professional burnout as well as may result in the development of many mental and somatic diseases. The results of the conducted research enabled the creation and implementation of solutions aimed at decreasing the risk of professional burnout and exposure to stress present in the place of work. These issues are part of the area of public health and have significant implications for the implementation of working time.


Psychosocial factors appearing at work and the resulting stress have been recognized by many countries all over the world as a serious threat to health and safety of employees. Among the professional groups exposed to increased occurrence of stress are: paramedics, nurses, military services workers (State Fire Service, Police). Stress leads to fundamental consequences for employees, and thus for workplaces, enterprises and the state as a whole. Stress results in health disorders, which leads to reduced productivity and contributes to accidents happening in the workplace. This situation disrupts the proper functioning of the company and incurs material losses.

The research conducted on professional burnout was initiated by the paper entitled Quality of life in families of children with autism and burnout syndrome among parents  by Anna Ślifirczyk [Department of Emergency Medicine] in 2012. This work was the foundation of the university’s and its staff’s interest in issues of stress and burnout. The main conclusions of the research were: to identify problems that parents face in everyday life with a child who is autistic, to assess the impact of the child’s disease on family functioning and the sense of quality of life of children with autism. The parents’ reactions to the child’s stressful behaviours and the way of revealing anger, depression and anxiety in parents were determined. The level of the degree of empathy, the degree of coping in stressful situations, and the degree of control of emotions were assessed on the possibility of the development of burnout in parents. Nurses’ level of knowledge about autism and their preparation for the role of an educator were also examined.

The carried out research constituted the natural outcome of the transition and were the milestones for certain scientific results in the following years, in the form of dissertations, articles, or monographs. As a result of the first pioneering research conducted on the issue of stress and professional burnout, in 2016 a scientific and training conference entitled Different Aspects of Depression was held in 2016, during which a comparison of professional burnout at two universities was made: Ternopil Medical University [Ukraine] and the Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biala Podlaska [Poland]. The aspect of patients’ aggression towards medical staff was discussed. The outcome of the first scientific experience taking up the topic of stress and burnout among employees of the Department of Emergency Medical Care was a pioneering publication issued in 2016 under the editorship of  Professor E. Krajewska-Kułak [ed.] entitled “The INNER patient as a challenge of medical care,” in which the authors present an interdisciplinary, holistic, and empathetic approach to suffering patients. [R1].

The research paper also discusses the issue of stress personality, which as the cause of the occurrence of somatic diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases, and plays a vital role in the perception of stress-related environment. The professional group of nurses frequently indicates the problem of occupational burnout which contributes to the loss of job satisfaction, especially when the job involves dealing with other people. The conducted research explicitly showed that an incompatibility between personality type and job can significantly lead to both a decrease in motivation and productivity, and job dissatisfaction, or even burnout and job quitting. The medical clinic also introduced some strategies and principles of burnout prevention, which significantly contributed to the introduction of stress and burnout related hygiene and prevention. [R2].

The main conclusion of the research topic undertaken by Dr Martyna Krukowska [Department of Emergency Medicine] was to determine the level of empathy, and in fact, a much broader concept of emotional intelligence impact on the occurrence of professional burnout in paramedics employed in Lubelskie Province. The levels of stress, professional burnout, emotional intelligence, and coping strategies were determined. Then the correlations between individual factors were examined. [R3].

A research paper entitled “Prevention and coping with stress and professional burnout among transplant team members,” by Pawel Piszcz [Department of Emergency Medicine], 2019, presents the surveys that looked at the problems transplant team members need to deal with. Also the author discusses issues concerning the prevalence of burnout syndrome in transplant team members; ability to cope with stress; the degree of coping in crisis situations; the knowledge of transplant team members regarding methods to alleviate stress; as well as the teams’ demand for prevention of burnout syndrome. [R4].

The conducted and further described research in the article entitled “Stress at work and professional burnout among police officers, state fire service officers, and ambulance service employees” by Marcin Ślifirczyk [Department of Nursing], 2021, allowed to assess the risk of exposure to burnout syndrome among members of Emergency Medical Service Teams, firefighters, and police officers. The ability to cope with  stress in strenuous situations was also examined. In addition, the need for education in terms of stress relieving skills was defined. [R5]


The research devoted to the issue of stress and occupational burnout among selected professional groups as well as the survey regarding work-related psychosocial problems were initiated in 2012. The above mentioned research was conducted by the staff of the Department of Medical Rescue and Nursing consisting of: PhD A. Ślifirczyk, PhD P. Piszcz, PhD M. Krukowska, PhD K. Jańczuk, and PhD M. Ślifirczyk. Cooperation of a regional range (two provinces: Mazowieckie and Lubelskie), namely with a clinic, a law firm, the Police, the State Fire Service and employees of the Emergency Department has resulted in the development of research (including an increase in the number of scientific papers) on stress and occupational burnout. The conducted research enabled to implement a standard for preparing the nurse for the role of autism educator that takes into account the special needs of the child and the fulfillment of parents’ plans connected with their personal lives, professional careers, and raising other children.


[R1] Quality of life of families of children with autism and burnout syndrome in parents, Anna Ślifirczyk, (2012).
The conducted research led to the development of the following research conclusions:
1. Parents of children with autism struggle with problems such as the child gaining independence, the need for treatments, and learning difficulties.
2. The quality of life of families with a child with autism undergoes the greatest changes in the area of social relations, as well as social and somatic spheres.
3. According to parents the quality of life of children with autism is good in contrast to parents who experience burnout syndrome.
4. There exist factors that have a significant impact on the extent of burnout among parents, especially stress, sadness, fatigue, insomnia.
5. Parents in difficult crisis situations choose effective coping styles.
6. Parents’ reactions to their child’s annoying and stressful behaviours are dominated by attempts to instruct and explain.
7. Expectations of parents of autistic children concern deepening of knowledge on the disease and forms of treatment. The preferred form of deepening the knowledge is a private conversation with an educator.
8. There are differences in the perception of the problems parents of autistic children face in selected countries (Poland, France, Belarus).
9. The level of nurses’ knowledge on autism is very low and a nurse is not prepared for the role of an educator. It is advisable to deepen the nurses’ knowledge not only  in the field of autism, but also in regard to forms of therapy, as well as  supporting institutions.

[R2] Comparative analysis of mental stress among nurses working in medical treatment and surgical wards on the basis of three district hospitals of Lubelskie Province, Katarzyna Jańczuk, 2017.
The conducted research resulted in the formulation of the following research conclusions:
1.The majority of the respondents were in the group characterized by a high level of stress.
2.The analysis of subjective job evaluation indicated high level of stress among the researched nurses. The following factors are responsible for causing the highest level of stress among nurses: social interaction, the sense of insecurity, the sense of responsibility and lack of rewards at work.
3. It was proved that a workplace has a significant impact on the level of experienced stress.
4. Type D stress personality is present in almost half of the researched nurses and midwives.
5. It was concluded that the level of experienced stress influenced each of the analyzed areas of occupational burnout.
6. The methods of counteracting the effects of stress for better motivation and efficiency of employees were indicated.
7. The problem of occupational burnout was pointed out in terms of prevention and a preventive programme was implemented in the professional group of nurses.

[R3] Empathy and occupational  burnout among paramedics, Martyna Krukowska, 2017.
The conducted research led to the formulation of the following research conclusions:
1. The work of paramedics is characterized by a high level of stress. Factors that particularly intensify stress are a sense of psychological workload, lack of rewards at work and a sense of uncertainty caused by the organization of work.
2. Almost every fourth of the respondents experienced high levels of stress over the last month.
3. Active coping, planning and positive processing are the most frequently used strategies to cope with stress, while psychoactive substances are the least frequently used. The paramedics are characterized by an average level of occupational burnout. The highest rates were found in categories regarding feelings of professional ineffectiveness and lack of commitment to relationship with patients. Emergency workers are significantly characterized by higher levels of the sense of ineffectiveness.
5. Almost ¾ of the respondents have an average level of emotional intelligence, only 13.2% have high scores, with women having significantly higher scores of overall emotional intelligence.
6. Employees of hospital emergency department are characterized by significantly higher scores of emotional intelligence level.
7. The higher the intensity of stress, the more frequently respondents tend to use coping strategies  , as well as strategies aimed at dealing with helplessness and avoidance behaviour. Strategies aimed at active coping are chosen when the intensity of stress decreases.
8. The correlation between coping strategies and occupational burnout were observed in the studied paramedics. As the discontinuance of activities increases, the sense of professional ineffectiveness increases.
9. Emotional intelligence affects the level of experienced stress in the study group, the higher it is, the lower the experienced stress is.
10. To the disadvantage of people in the group with a low level of EI, there was observed a significant influence of the level of emotional intelligence on the level of occupational burnout,  Such correlations were not observed among employees of hospital emergency departments.
11. In the study group of paramedics, a correlation was found that in case of an increase in the value of stressors, increases the intensity of burnout, and with an increase in the level of emotional intelligence is the opposite situation.

[R4] Preventing and managing professional stress and burnout among transplant team members, Paweł Piszcz, 2019.
The research carried out has led to the implementation of measures in the institutions that foster:
1. Systematic monitoring of potential stressors and the employees’ mental health.
2. Gradual removal/modification of stressors.
3. Improvement of staff relations.
4. Prevention of the build-up of conflicts at work.
5. Introduction of a favourable work plan for individual posts.
6. Clear definition of professional responsibilities.
7. Introduction of equitable principles of management.
8. Implementation of a performance-based reward system.
9. Introduction of additional days off or breaks from work to allow for strength regaining.
10. Involvement of employees in planning their career development.
11. Creation of opportunities for employees to participate in internal and external training on stress, occupational burnout and how to overcome them.

[R5] Work stress and burnout among police officers, state firefighters and paramedics, Marcin Ślifirczyk, 2021.
The research conducted allowed to formulate the following research conclusions:
1. All surveyed groups were at risk of burnout, with police officers being the most affected group and firefighters the lowest.
2. The highest statistically significant effect on the degree of occupational burnout was found in the group of police officers, followed by paramedics, and the lowest in firefighters.
3. The correlations between the length of service – the longer the period of employment the higher the risk of burnout, and gender – women were more likely to suffer from burnout were proved.
4. Factors such as occupation, place of residence or financial status had a significant impact on the level of stress experienced.
5. Respondents presented high levels of task-focused style when coping with stress.
6. A statistically significant correlation was found between occupation and the way stress was relieved in only two cases – improving professional qualifications and maintaining social contacts.
7. Raising professional qualifications as a stress-relieving technique was used significantly more often by firefighters and paramedics as opposed to police officers, and maintaining social contacts – by firefighters and police officers as opposed to paramedics.
8. A statistically significantly higher level of self-efficacy was presented by respondents with higher education, compared to respondents with secondary education.
9. All respondents showed a high level of force necessary to initiate action, the highest was shown by police officers when compared to the other respondents.
10. Statistically, significantly higher levels of psychophysical exhaustion was shown by police officers..


In order to solve the problems of nurses employed in  ABM NZOZ (Private Health Care Centre)  in Piszczac and in General Practitioners’ Clinic  ‘ESKULAP’ (Esculapius) in Łosice, we applied our innovative solutions, which had an impact on raising awareness in the field of public health, education, solving problems resulting from the care of a child with autism, motivation of parents, providing knowledge and skills which allow constant monitoring of the child’s state of health and development enabling them to lead an active life, preventing social exclusion of parents of children with autism. [S1, S6].

The ongoing regional cooperation with General Practitioners’ Clinic ‘ESKULAP’ brought about scientific results. The effect of the conducted research was the reduction of the risk of professional burnout among nurses working in the clinic and the exposure to stress present in the workplace, thanks to the implementation of the “Avoid occupational burnout” programme in General Practitioners’ Clinic ‘ESKULAP’ in Łosice, which consisted of a proper adjustment of personality type to the work performed.  [S1].

Within the framework of scientific activities of regional character, it is worth mentioning the effects  of cooperation with Grzegorz Chotnicki, Paweł Chotnicki Trade and Service Company with registered office in Łosice (Mazowieckie Province). The research carried out in the field of stress and burnout has significantly increased the awareness of mental health, hygiene and prevention related to stress and burnout among the employees of the company. The research results have significantly raised awareness of hygiene and prevention of stress and burnout in the workplace. They allowed the implementation of measures to reduce the impact of stress, improve coping skills, and reduce the risk of developing burnout and exposure to stress.  [S2].

Within the framework of the scientific activities carried out, it is also worth mentioning the activities and cooperation of a local scale within the scope of the cooperation and research on stress and professional burnout that was carried out with the Urszula Chorąży Law Firm with registered office at 17 Prosta Street, Biała Podlaska.  As a result of cooperation and scientific research carried out along with the Law Firm in Biała Podlaska, achievements of significant importance in the area of health protection have been made. Workload and stress occurring in the lawyer’s profession significantly lead to a decrease in motivation, productivity, effectiveness and dissatisfaction with work. The above factors made it possible to raise awareness of hygiene and prevention of stress and burnout among employees of the law firm in their workplace.  [S3].

As part of the scientific activities carried out, it is worth mentioning the scientific cooperation carried out in cooperation with the Municipal Cultural Centre (GOK, Biała Podlaska). The research results obtained in Biała Podlaska GOK study have been used by employees and managers to learn about a problem that is affecting more and more people working and being in charge of people these days, and to increase their knowledge and awareness of stress and burnout in their workplace. The research has shown that excessive workloads can significantly lead to a decrease in motivation, productivity, efficiency, job dissatisfaction and conflict. [S4].

As part of the scientific activities carried out, it is worth mentioning the scientific cooperation conducted with “ETERNITE Poznaj Podlasie” (Siemiatycze). The research used by employees and managers of the leisure centres identified problems at work. The following elements were highlighted: incompatibility of personality type and work, inadequate qualifications, lack of training, lack of adequate financial motivation and lack of opportunities for rest and strength regaining. [S5].


[S1] Certificate issued by General Practitioners’ Clinic ‘Esculap’, (Łosice)
In the statement made by the President of the Board of GENERAL PRACTITIONERS ‘ESKULAP’ LTD (Łosice)  it was confirmed joint scientific research, development and cooperation, as well as accomplishments of regional importance in the area of health care, documented by studies that have raised awareness of public health, hygiene and prevention of stress and burnout among different medical groups.

[S2] Certificate issued by Grzegorz Chotnicki, Paweł Chotnicki Trade and Service Company, (Łosice)
In the statement made by Grzegorz Chotnicki, PawełChotnicki Trade and Service Company with registered office in Łosice confirms the implementation of joint research  development works, cooperation and joint achievements, which prove that work overload, lack of opportunities to develop and improve qualifications, lack of adequate financial motivation, lack of opportunities for regeneration and rest, andunpleasant working atmosphere, increase the level of dissatisfaction, exacerbate stress or lead to staff turnover. This results in somatic complaints and psychological problems.

[S3] Certificate issued by Urszula Chorąży Law Firm, (Biała Podlaska)
In the statement of the Law Firm, Urszula Chorąży (Biała Podlaska), the implementation of joint research and development works as well as and the cooperation and joint achievements were confirmed, which proved that nowadays it affects more and more people working and managing people, but above all, to broaden awareness and deepen knowledge about stress and burnout in the work as a lawyer and in his/her workplace.

[S4] Certificate issued by Municipal Cultural Centre, (Biała Podlaska)
In the statement the Municipal Cultural Center (GOK), the implementation of the use of the results of scientific research and development work, which resulted in the introduction of solutions reducing the risk of burnout and exposure to stress was confirmed. A particularly important fact for GOK Biała Podlaska was the implementation of the principles of hygiene and prevention of combating stress and burnout, which significantly contributed to the reduction of this risk in the workplace.

[S5] Certificate issued by ‘ETERNITE Poznaj Podlasie ‘(Siemiatycze)

In the statement of ETERNITE Meet Podlasie (Siemiatycze) the implementation of the use of the results of scientific research and development work, which resulted in the introduction of solutions aimed at reducing the risk of occupational burnout and exposure to stress was confirmed. It was particularly important to implement the principles of hygiene and prevention of stress and burnout in ETERNITE Meet Podlasie, which significantly contributed to the reduction of this risk in the workplace.

[S6] Certificate issued by Private Health Care Centre in Piszczac and General Practitioners’ Clinic ‘ESKULAP’ in Łosice
In the statements of the Health Center Medical Center NZOZ in Piszczac and General Practitioners’ Clinic ‘ESKULAP’ in Łosice  the use of the results of scientific research and development works, which resulted in the implementation of the standard of preparing a nurse for the role of an autism educator was confirmed. Particular attention was paid to the child’s needs and the implementation of parents’ plans related to their personal life, professional work and raising other children.


Undoubtedly, it should be pointed out that our research based on theoretical considerations with practical cooperation with the socio-economic environment and the resulting effects are the result of interdisciplinary research on the issue of stress and professional burnout, which is part of the achievements of experts in the disciplines of health sciences, medical sciences and social sciences.

Not only was stress examined, which is a psychological state of strain on the psychological regulation system created by a threatening situation that prevents one’s own plans from being realised, but also the social impact associated with stress and burnout on the general functioning of an individual or a specific group of employees. Due to the carried out research, publications, and implementations, employees’ awareness was raised in selected professional and social groups. This has contributed to the introduction of hygiene and prevention related to stress and burnout in various workplaces. The research programme on stress and the causes of burnout implemented by the State Higher School of Pope John Paul II in Biała Podlaska, takes into account the interdisciplinary nature of this issue.

The research concerns medical and health aspects, behaviour and psychosocial conditions and economic factors related to the problem.