As a healthcare worker, you work in a stressful environment, which can negatively impact your mental health and well-being. COVID-19 is further adding to your stress. You fear catching the virus and passing it on to your family and patients, toil as the number of cases surge and struggle to keep up with the ever-changing processes.
Not successfully managed, such chronic workplace stress leads to burnout - you feel emotionally exhausted, inefficient, and compelled to distance yourself from work. You have no sense of fulfillment and purpose.
Burnout affects patient care
Research shows that burnout is associated with lower patient satisfaction due to negative reaction or response to patients. There are also high infection rates in healthcare workers and patients because burnt out workers tend to take short cuts. And when staff are not focused, there are higher incidents of medication errors. There are also more adverse events.
Resilience is the antidote for burnout
You cannot change or control chaos. But you can control how you respond to the situation. So resilience is simply about choosing to focus on what you can change.
Let me share with you 7 ways to strengthen your resilience. Instead of experiencing an overwhelming downwards spiral when you encounter stress in your life.
7 steps to building resilience to fight burnout
Remain hopeful. You can't change the past, but you can always look towards the future. Accept and even anticipate change. This makes it easier for you to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.
Becoming more resilient takes time and practice. But first, you must admit that you have burnout and need help. You might have difficulty acknowledging that you need help because you think that you have everything under control – especially since you are in healthcare where you help others. Why wouldn't you need help? Are you not human, too?
Perera is a familiar face with all of us at SGH. She has 41 years of experience
in nursing, clinical quality and patient experience. Karen has been a strong
advocate for patient safety and quality improvement in healthcare. She is
currently Director of the SGH Office of Patient Experience and has been
instrumental in driving key initiatives such as building a psychologically safe
environment in SGH by encouraging staff to speak up, Safety and Quality
Management, and process improvement.
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