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Stress Levels of Ambulance Paramedics and Fire Fighters

Dutton LaVerne M. M.S.; Smolensky, Michael H. Ph.D.; Leach, Carolyn S. Ph.D.; Lorimor, Ronald Ph.D.; Hsi, Bartholomew P. Ph.D.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 1978
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Responses to Rahe and job stress questionnaires and urinary concentrations of cortisols and catecholamines served to indicate work related stress in 56 fire fighters and 67 paramedics. Although the average Rahe test scores, indicative of stress arising from life events, were comparable, those of the job stress test were statistically significantly higher for the paramedics. The paramedics felt their jobs more exhausting, less satisfying and requiring too much responsibility. For the paramedics, statistically significant higher levels of epinephrine and elevated levels of norepinephrine were found for the work as compared to the off day. For fire fighters, higher levels of cortisol and norepinephrine evident on the off day rather than the work day apparently reflect the relatively light work load experienced during the span of urine collections.

©1978 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine