“How can I be inspired, when no one cares?”
“Everyone of us said if we could go back, we would choose a different career.” – Emergency room physician in the Bay Area, who recently polled a group of doctors about their jobs.
As a motivational healthcare speaker who has spoken in front of healthcare provider audiences for many years, I understand why you are feeling overwhelmed. Frankly, I have never seen morale quite this bad.
Across the nation, the U.S. Healthcare System is under siege. In an article published last February in the Guardian showed that despite the positive trends where COVID and respiratory diseases are sharply down, “80% of US hospitals in the last week of January  were under ‘high or extreme stress.’”
Does this mean that when COVID, the flu and RSV are in the rearview mirror the stress will be gone?
Hardly. There are multiple stressors facing healthcare workers. Dr. Bradley Britigan, Dean of the University of Nebraska medical school recently (January 4, 2023) said:
“When most businesses experience expense increases, they pass those on to their customers. That is not the case in health care, where insurance companies, including Medicare, simply refuse pay more to providers for care despite major increases in expenses to provide that care.”
In addition to the stress of insurance payment shortfalls, there are widespread labor shortages (by 2033 the nation could be short by up to 140,000 physicians), there is a nationwide shortage of bed space, constant changes in healthcare policies, the ongoing opioid crisis and software challenges. Often, these factors combine to anger patients where a lack of communication and excessive wait-times manifest themselves over and over again?
But what about you?
While healthcare practitioners have to absorb so much, how can you be inspired when no one seems to care? As a motivational healthcare speaker – and no pun intended – who feels your pain? How do providers cope?
As it turns out, the best coping mechanisms are not hi-tech nor can they be readily found on anything digital. In fact, the best mechanisms to reduce stress may be the most ancient.
Harvard Psychologist Christopher Willard and Neuroscientist and Physician Reena Kotecha offer “8 Mindful Tips for Healthcare Workers to Let Go of Stress.” Among coping strategies, they endorse include:
- Breathing and mindfulness meditation
- Focusing on good and your successes
- Creating a transition to enable a separation between home and work; set limits
- Laughter and creativity
- Leaning into faith, however it is perceived
- Asking for help
- Expressing gratitude
What about you? How can you be inspired to help others when no one seems to care? It is by re-setting a vision of yourself as someone who is making a difference, and celebrating those around you who are making a difference as well.
Be determined to keep yourself and your colleagues safe. Celebrate one another, so that no one feels alone, and by all means, ask for help. As patients ask this of you, ask it of yourself.
Stress will never leave the healthcare profession, but there are appropriate times to leave the stress. Fight for “me time,” and for one another. Remember always, you make a difference and please encourage your colleagues to see it in themselves.
To reach Scott Burrows, Inspirational Healthcare Speaker, contact Scott today by phone at: 520 – 548 – 1169 or through this website.