Capstone Projects

Assessing the Factors Impacting Occupational Stress for Abortion Care Providers

Program: Health and Wellness Management
Host Company: Family Planning Clinic (FPC)
Location: Minnesota (onsite)
Student: Renee Graves

Creating a successful employee wellness program for an organization requires an understanding of the company culture and needs of the employees. Abortion care is a unique health care occupations and very little is known about abortion care providers. Abortion care is highly stigmatized and providers often remain private about the work they do. Stress actors involved in abortion provision are specific to the field and must be recognized in order to effectively develop a wellness program which employees identify with. Total Worker Health is a best-practice model created by NIOSH to guide organizations in addressing employee health by assessing the workplace environment and identifying areas for improvement. In order to assess the stress factors experienced by abortion care providers, the Abortion Care Provider Employee Stress Survey (ACPESS) was developed. A group of abortion care providers from a family planning clinic agreed to complete the survey and the results indicated a broad array of stress factors experienced by the providers. Administrators can use the results of the ACPESS to identify areas abortion care providers need support or provide ideas for organizational change.

“Having the opportunity to intern with the Executive Director of a medical clinic was educational and truly prepared me to lead other health organizations. Additionally, interning and working with abortion care providers offered me a unique perspective on the additional burdens and barriers experienced by professionals working in a stigmatized occupation. Ultimately, the work I completed in a highly under-researched medical field led me to be invited to spend 90 minutes presenting my work at the 2019 National Abortion Federation annual conference, an international gathering of leaders in the abortion care profession.”