Workplace Mental Health
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Health care workers are constantly thinking about how to improve the quality of care being delivered to our patients. However, we rarely talk about our own biases toward our patients—let alone racial bias. We usually aren’t even aware of them. But they exist, and in fact, when it comes to our patients, evidence suggests that us doctors have the same level of bias as the wider population. Hence, it’s time we address them head on.
The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life—including your home, work, and social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it’s important to deal with burnout right away.
"Burnout" isn't a medical diagnosis. Some experts think that other conditions, such as depression, are behind burnout. Researchers point out that individual factors, such as personality traits and family life, influence who experiences job burnout. Whatever the cause, job burnout can affect your physical and mental health. Consider how to know if you've got job burnout and what you can do about it.
Yes, burnout can be a fatal disorder. Suicide rates for both men and women are higher in physicians than the general population and widely underreported. Unfortunately, although physician burnout is incredibly common and damaging, it remains a taboo subject in the workplace. Stress management and burnout prevention are not covered in detail in medical school or residency training.
Whatever you’re feeling, be good to yourself. If you feel lost, be patient with yourself while you find your way. If you feel scared, be gentle with yourself while you find the strength to face your fear. If you feel hurt, be kind to yourself while you grieve and slowly heal. You can’t bully yourself into clarity, courage, or peace, and you can’t rush self-discovery or transformation. Some things simply take time, so take the pressure off and give yourself space to grow. -Lori Deschene
No mom can do it all on her own. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness! When you need help, ask for it! When you are asked for help, give it – and offer it, too. In asking for help we can get past these too-hard-on-ourselves moments and instead build community with family, friends, and neighbors. Help – given and received – can help you achieve that acceptance of non-perfection – and the outcome may be even better than your initial vision of ‘perfect. - Jen Klein
Burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion that can zap the joy out of your career, friendships, and family interactions. Continual exposure to stressful situations, like caring for an ill family member, working long hours, or witnessing upsetting news related to politics and school safety can lead to this stress condition.
Having the confidence to stand up to racism can be incredibly difficult. Less than a fifth (17%) of our respondents said that if they witnessed an act of racism in the workplace, they would report it to HR. Two-fifths (39%) wouldn’t report it to anyone at all, for the shocking reason that they would be worried about the consequences of doing so.