TH-P01-118 - Emotional Labor and Work-Related Rumination among Emergency Medical Dispatchers

Work stressors
Poster Presentation
3 hours 30 minutes
O'Brien Foyer
Employee stress and burnout
Work stressors
Emotional Labor and Work-Related Rumination among Emergency Medical Dispatchers
J. Deselms 1, L. M. Perez*, E. Leingang 1
1Psychology, Minnesota State University, Mankato, United States
Content: Purpose: This study examined emotional labor and work-related rumination among emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs). Both surface acting emotional labor strategies and affective work-related rumination have been shown to have negative implications for employees’ mental well-being. The emotional labor of EMDs may be unique in that much research on emotional labor focuses on the need to display a positive emotional state; however, EMDs need to suppress emotions and display a calm, neutral emotional tone. Furthermore, EMDs are required to follow predetermined scripts, making it difficult for EMDs to use deep acting as emotional labor and preventing EMDs from engaging in effective problem-solving rumination. The emotional nature of calls may contribute to affective rumination.
Design/Methodology: We examined online survey responses from 95 EMDs belonging to a statewide organization of EMD professionals in the United States.
Results: EMDs who engaged in more surface acting (both hiding and faking emotions) also engaged in more affective rumination. Both surface acting and affective rumination were associated with physical symptoms, exhaustion and disengagement. Neither deep acting nor problem-solving rumination were associated with negative outcomes. Mediational analyses will be discussed.
Limitations: The sample size was relatively small and homogeneous in terms of demographics and geographic location. Thus, generalizability may be a concern.  
Research/Practical Implications: Researchers and organizations would benefit from understanding how EMDs might choose between emotional labor strategies and training employees how best to manage emotions on and off the job.
Originality/Value: Research on EMDs is relative scarce as is research on emotional suppression as emotional labor.


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