Our ‘Superheroes’ in Healthcare Need Our Compassion
“In compassion, when we feel with the other, we dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and we put another person there.” – Karen Armstrong, Author and scholar
Recent research as to healthcare worker stress underscores what I have been saying for many years in my keynote speeches to the industry. Nurses and healthcare practitioners feel underappreciated, especially coming out of the pandemic.
Writer Christine Vesta, who covers mental health of frontline workers for Stateline wrote (March 15, 2021):
“The worst of the pandemic may be behind the country. But for frontline health workers the psychological scars from the chaos and uncertainty they’ve lived through…may take much longer to heal. Health care workers across the country say they feel underappreciated by their employers and disillusioned with the medical profession…”
In a CNN piece by Scottie Andrew in February 2021, a nurse was quoted as saying (that she disliked): “the description of nurses as ‘superheroes,’ even if the lifesaving work, they’re doing can seem like a feat of heroic resolve. Nurses are human, with foibles and feelings that can impact their work. As hard as they try, they can’t turn off their humanity to get through their workday…And like the rest of us who don’t work in medicine, nurses need the support of their communities and workplaces to keep going.”
The Issue is Compassion
If we appreciate our nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals why do we often act as though they have bottomless wells of compassion? Why isn’t there the determination of the healthcare industry to treat their staffs with the same compassion we expect of them toward their patients?
As with the quotation from above, why can’t the healthcare industry “dethrone itself” from the center of its world and show greater compassion toward the incredible sacrifices they have made over the past few years?
As a motivational healthcare speaker, I know full-well that recognition and compassion toward nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals is a mindset. For example. I routinely speak to healthcare groups at Awards Events, Leadership Retreats (both physician and nursing conferences and retreats), Front Lines and All-Staff Events including events for Healthcare IT Professionals and really, all staff who do not have direct patient contact.
Celebrating and uplifting staff is much more than an act of compassion, it is also an act of retention. Turnover in healthcare is at an all-time high and frankly, I am amazed at the dedication of those who stay and give everything they’ve got.
Sooner or later, the roots of compassion must be watered with love, nurturing and selflessness. Telling someone we care, is a “nice” first step, but we must do more. For nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals, showing them our compassion, is every bit as important as the compassion they have shown so many patients. It is time to put them in the spotlight while the rest of us stand back and applaud.
To book Scott Burrows, Healthcare/Nurses Week Motivational Speaker for your next event, contact him at his office: 520-548-1169, or through this website.