Perceived Stress Levels and Stress Management Among Paramedical Students Lyceum of the Philippines University: Towards Stress Management Enhancement Maribel D. Mayuga-Barrion, DDM, MAT It is recognized that stress is a normally occurring part of life. Selye was the first to describe the term "stress" as a state produced within an organism subjected to a stimulus perceived as a threat (Selye, 1957). He spoke of stress as a condition that occurs commonly in response to any adaptive response within the body. He defined stress as ". . . a state manifested by a specific syndrome which consists of all the nonspecifically induced changes within a biologic system" (Selye, 1950). In other words, stress can refer to a wide range of physiological changes caused by physical or psychological components or a combination of these. College students, especially freshmen, are a group particularly prone to stress due to the transitional nature of college life. They must adjust to being away from home for the first time, maintain a high level of academic achievement, and adjust to a new social environment. College students, regardless of year in school, often deal with pressures related to finding a job or a potential life partner. These stressors do not cause anxiety or tension by themselves. Instead, stress results from the interaction between stressors and the individual's perception and reaction to those stressors. The amount of stress experienced may be influenced by the individual's ability to effectively cope with stressful events and situations. If stress is not dealt with effectively, feelings of loneliness and nervousness, as well as sleeplessness and excessive worrying may result. It is important that stress intervention programs be designed to address stress of college students. However, in order to design an effective intervention, the stressors specific to college students must be determined. (Ross, 2010) The dynamic relationship between the person and environment in stress perception and reaction is especially magnified in college students. The problems and situations encountered by college students may differ from those faced by their nonstudent peers. The environment in which college students live is quite different. While jobs outside of the university setting involve their own sources of stress, such as evaluation by superiors and striving for goals, the continuous evaluation that college students are subjected to, such as weekly tests and papers, is one which is not often seen by non-students. The pressure to earn good grades and to earn a degree is very high. Earning high grades is not the only source of stress for college students. Other potential sources of stress include excessive homework, unclear assignments, and uncomfortable classrooms. In addition to academic requirements, relations with faculty members and time pressures may also be sources of stress. Relationships with family and friends, eating and sleeping habits, and loneliness may affect some students adversely. Many specific events and situations have been implicated as stressors for paramedical students, more research is needed to investigate the nature of these stressors for paramedical students, and which stressors are most prevalent in their lives. It is unclear whether most stressors result from interpersonal relationships or academics. In addition, this research is needed to clarify whether these stressors are mostly daily hassles or major live events. The purpose of this study was to determine what sources of stress are the most prevalent among paramedical students, and to examine the level of these stressors. (Shaikha, 2004). According to Ross (2010), College students are no strangers to varying degrees of stress. Reports suggest that the university environments are different from other settings, yet levels of stress are no less serious.
2 Ramsey, Greenberg, and Hale (1999) surmised that the college experience may be the most stressful years in...
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