Healthcare jobs most emotionally draining; education workers most involved

Workers in healthcare and welfare occupations find their work most emotionally draining. Teachers, especially in primary education, most often get emotionally involved in their work, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday based on a 2018 survey among 63 thousand workers. The top 10 most emotionally draining jobs are all on the list of "crucial workers" who have to keep working through the coronavirus crisis.

Employees in care and welfare professions, such as psychologists, social workers, nurses, firefighters, and police officers, most often said they find their work emotionally demanding. 56 percent of psychologists and sociologists said that their work often or always requires a lot from them emotionally. Among social workers this was 50 percent, 43 percent of nurses, and 37 percent of police officers and firefighters. 

Emotionally draining work plays a role in health problems and absenteeism, according to the stats office. Healthcare and welfare has the highest absenteeism of all branches of industry, the stats office said.

Statistics Netherlands also pointed out that the top ten most emotionally draining professions "seamlessly" fit into the occupational groups the government listed as essential after the outbreak of Covid-19. This concerns professions in care, police, fire brigade, and education.

Healthcare workers also said they become emotionally involved in their work more than the average worker. But on this front, teachers are in the lead. "Among primary school teachers, the proportion who said they often or always get emotionally involved in work is the highest among all occupational groups," the stats office said. Teachers under the age of 35 are more likely to get involved emotionally than their older counterpart. And primary school teachers are more likely than secondary school teachers.

The top 10 most emotionally draining professions, according to Statistics Netherlands:

  1. Psychologists and sociologists
  2. Social workers
  3. Specialized nurses
  4. Doctors
  5. Police and fire brigade
  6. Nurses
  7. Social-, group-, and housing counselors
  8. Teachers of general subjects in secondary- and vocational education
  9. Primary education teachers
  10. Carers