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Archive for June, 2007
Friday, June 29th, 2007

Everyone loves to get and give gifts, right?  Imagine giving a gift valued at over $1 million dollars!  Imagine getting a gift that will help hundreds of people get the health care they need!  This describes what has recently happened with our county and our agency.

On July 2, Guilford County Department of Public Health will begin providing dental care for children in a new location at 1103 E. Friendly Avenue in Greensboro at the Guilford County Chandler Dental Clinic (corner of Friendly and Tate).  This wonderful facility plus all its contents (computers, dental equipment, furniture and more) is a gift from Dr. and Mrs. John E. Chandler, III to Guilford County.  

For years, Dr. Chandler and his staff provided quality dental care to Greensboro families.  Upon his retirement, he wanted to continue that service, but in a different way.  Our dental team will be able to continue in Dr. Chandler’s tradition of superior service as we open the doors to our clients on Monday, July 2. 

We are so excited and truly grateful to the Chandler Family for their wonderful, generous gift.  The Department of Public Health will share this gift with Guilford Adult Health, Adult Dental Program, allowing adults to be seen at this same location in the evenings by volunteer dentists.

If you’d like more information about our children’s dental clinic program, call 641-3152.

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Government Workers Must Manage Job Stress

For those of us who work in Public Service, job stress comes in many different forms and affects us in many ways. Minor sources of stress may include office equipment that won’t work or public phones that won’t quit ringing. Major stress comes from having too much technical work, not having enough technical work, doing work that is unfulfilling, fearing a job layoff, or being threatened by a citizen.
Job stress affects our health and home life as well. High stress levels can be harmful, actually contributing to chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke.
Often, it is the high profile sources of stress that lead to burnout, causing us to become unhappy and less productive in our work. Reseasrchers have found that the major sources of job stress fall into seven categories:
• Control. This factor is the most closely related to job stress. Studies show that workers who believe they have a great deal of responsibility in their jobs, but little control or decision-making power, are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and other stress-related illnesses.  This factor also comes into play when workers cannot control how long their jobs will last and, therefore, fear layoffs.

• Competence. Are you concerned about your ability to perform well? Are you challenged enough, but not too much? Do you feel secure in your job? Job insecurity is a major source of stress for many people who are not confident in their work. • Clarity. Feeling uncertain about what your duties are, how they may be changing, or what your department’s or organization’s goals are can lead to stress.
• Communication. Workplace tension often results from poor communication, which in turn increases job stress. An inability to express your concerns, frustrations, or other emotions can also lead to increased stress.  “Hell hath no fury like an emotion scorned.”
• Support. Feeling unsupported by your bosses (or coworkers) may make it harder to resolve other problems at work that are causing you stress.
• Significance. If you don’t find your job meaningful or take pride in it, you may find it stressful.
• Increased responsibilities. Assuming additional responsibilities in your job can be stressful.     

Managing job stress

Here are some options for lowering stress on the job:

• Meet with your supervisor at least once a year (every 3 or 6 months is better) to talk about your performance and your job. Discuss the following:
     o What is expected of me in this position?
     o Where is this department going, and how do I fit into that plan?
     o How am I doing? What are my strengths? Areas for improvement?
     o What can I expect from you if a problem with my work or my job should occur?
     o If I continue my current high-quality performance, how and when can I expect to be rewarded?
• Manage your time well. It’s important to leave your job at the office. If you give up free time to get more work done, you may pay for it with stress-related symptoms.
• Unplug. Technologies such as cellular phones and the Internet have made it possible to be available to everyone, including clients and coworkers, at all times.  Monitor your work cell phone only when absolutely necessary.
• Know when to change. If you are truly miserable because of a stressful job, it may be time to think about changing positions. Make sure you know whether it is you or the job that’s the problem. Spend time researching other job options within the department.