Overcoming the Sense of Overwhelm
Long before I became an inspirational healthcare speaker, my affection for the healthcare community was sealed after the accident where I went from being a martial artist and Division 1 football player to a quadriplegic. I was incredibly lucky; a team of healthcare professionals saved my life and then rehabilitated my body and soul.
It breaks my heart that now, when so many healthcare workers need help themselves, there is no one there for them. This was illustrated to me, not long ago when a friend and healthcare provider sent me a photo taken of her colleague in a corridor of the hospital. The colleague was slumped on the floor, in scrubs and protective equipment, exhausted from the stress and overwhelm.
Long Before Covid
As every healthcare provider understands, the stressors the system places on them started to occur long before COVID, and continue now that transmission rates are low and vaccinations and treatment are widely available.
Depending on the source, numerous stressors have been identified on nurses, physicians, first responders, therapists and administration. The stressors include: generalized mental health problems; burdens of debt repayment; ridiculously high turnover; miserable salaries; on-going (and often unnecessary) stress; antiquated and frequently inefficient costs, coding, technology; worker shortages; insurance issues; a breakdown in patient and provider interaction; unreasonable work hours and a snail-like pace in adapting technologies.
What amazes me, as perhaps your number one fan, is that despite all of the crippling factors, the system manages to work and succeed at its number one goal: to save, preserve and enhance lives. What is the difference maker in this equation? It is you. Whether you are a laboratory technician, chief of vascular surgery, paramedic, pharmacists, nurse anesthetist, purchasing agent or respiratory therapist, the healthcare system succeeds because you care.
You are underappreciated at all levels – systemically underappreciated. There is no other way to say it. If all my dear friends in healthcare are to overcome the feeling of overwhelm, they must all do what has long been neglected: heal themselves. What happens if healthcare workers don’t take these steps, let me simply say that the approximately 20 percent healthcare turnover experienced in 2021 may increase in 2022 and beyond. Without self-healing, and truly allowing the world to understand what workers need, there is bound be to even more stress and disappointment.
How will we view the future?
How healthcare organizations will view themselves going forward is up to them. We cannot heal the flaws in the system from afar, but from within. We cannot complain but act. The real question is if we all have the mentality to do it? Will we get behind the changes that are needed or complain about the changes that are needed? The public at large may hear your complaints, but they will help you to act upon them if you are of a common mindset to explain and educate.
Do healthcare professionals have the combined realization of achieving their goals? What is the outlook for the future? Are you merely public servants dispensing a service, or are we partners and patient health advocates in a proud and noble profession? The choice is yours to choose purpose over stress and adversity.
I am not naïve about creating change. It will take daily effort to achieve the recognition that is long overdue. Healthcare professionals saved my life. As an inspirational healthcare speaker, I know that the healer must begin anew only through first healing themselves.
The photo sent to me affected me so badly because I briefly wondered, “What if ‘she’ had not there at my beside? What if she left one minute before I was brought in, because the stress had been too much for her to bear?” I think of her, and many like her, every time I speak.
Scott Burrows, Inspirational Healthcare Keynote Speaker. For more information, please contact Scott today or through this website or for more immediate attention at: 520 – 548 – 1169.