Impact of Work-Related Factors on Stress and Health among 911 Calltakers and Dispatchers in California
Kimberly D. Turner, MPA, ENP, Michele Lilly, Ana M. Gamez, PhD, MBA, and Kassandra Kressler, MA
Apr 09, 2019|AEDR 2019 Vol. 7 Issue 1|Original Research
Introduction: Empirical literature examining the health and wellness of emergency responders has continued to grow over the past decade. Yet there is a relative absence of literature on 911 telecommunicators, who are often the "first, first responders" in an emergency. Examination of work-related factors that enhance risk for stress and adverse outcomes may improve current prevention and intervention efforts in this population.
Methods: Civilian 911 calltakers and dispatchers from the state of California (N = 833) participated in an online study to examine the impact of work-related factors (i.e., work-life balance, burnout, work conditions) on health-related outcomes (i.e., satisfaction with life, depression/anxiety, physical health). Further, the extent to which work-related factors had an indirect effect on health outcomes through perceived stress was tested using path analysis.
Results: Results indicated that burnout and work-life balance had significant direct effects on perceived stress and health-related outcomes. Further, perceived stress was a mechanism by which burnout and work-life balance had an impact on health-related outcomes.
Conclusions: Work conditions (i.e., mandatory overtime, weekend shifts) exhibited a direct effect only on satisfaction with life. Implications for study findings on the 911 industry are discussed.