[The role of emotional labour in oncology].
ABSTRACT Oncologists and related health care professionals (HCPs) do not only have to follow professional protocols in their everyday work, but also have to communicate proper attitudes towards patients suffering from malignant diseases. This task is often a heavier load than the implementation of professional activities themselves. The present article is based on a survey on HCP work motivation, employment parameters and correlations with emotional labour. Fifty oncology HCPs at Debrecen University Medical Health Sciences Centre volunteered to participate in this survey containing 20 simple-choice questions. More than 90 percent of HCPs make an effort to hide their emotional state, giving way to possible negative side effects. The survey showed significant differences between the level of emotional labour of those working in the field of oncology longer or shorter than ten years. Surface and deep emotional labour is more frequent among professionals already working in oncology for a longer period of time. This can serve us with explanation to the burn-out syndrome so frequent in this profession. To diminish the load of emotional labour, healthcare institutes have to aim at hiring employees that spontaneously fit the emotional and behavioural norms facing them, and do not need officially prescribed behavioural norms for everyday work. Their constant need for respect and appreciation of their values must be kept in mind, because the capability of genuine emotional labour diminishes parallel to the number of years spent in work.