Professionals are Human too!
Health professionals are trained to work in a high demand and high stress environments but keep in mind, they are human, and we all make mistakes! They are more prone to burn out and a study found this can lead to increased risk of making poor decisions, behaving hostile towards their patients, increased medical errors and have potential difficultly maintaining relationships with their coworkers (Kumar, 2016). Other research suggests to address this issue of health professionals and burn out is provide training and access to programs related to mindfulness and self-compassion. Health professionals who are trained to be or are self-compassionate, correlate with lower levels of burn out, increased well-being (Durkin, Beaumont, Hollins Martin, & Carson, 2016), reduced perceived stress and potentially enhanced patient care (Shapiro, Astin, Bishop, & Cordova, 2005).
This suggests self-compassion is an important factor for health professionals for their own-well-being and daily life and their work life. Professionals are not perfect and mistakes happen. It would be important to remind ourselves to be self-compassionate. We should accept that we are only human, we make mistakes, and sometimes life can be difficult. Instead of being critical of yourself or ignoring the pain or difficulty you’re experiencing, take a moment, reflect and acknowledge what you are experiencing may be difficult, or it is painful, or you may have made a mistake. Finally, ask yourself how can I comfort and care for myself during this time?
For more information about Mindfulness and Self-Compassion based programs, ask the Wellness Centre at UHN to find out resources available on-site! Contact us at Wellness@uhn.ca or 416.340.4800 x 4486
Check out other sources in Toronto: The Centre for Mindfulness Studies
Durkin, M., Beaumont, E., Hollins Martin, C., & Carson, J. (2016). A pilot study exploring the relationship between self-compassion, self-judgement, self-kindness, compassion, professional quality of life and wellbeing among UK community nurses.
Nurse Education Today, 46, 109-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2016.08.030
Kumar, S. (2016). Burnout and Doctors: Prevalence, Prevention and Intervention. Healthcare, 4(3), 37. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030037
Shapiro, S., Astin, J., Bishop, S., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results From a Randomized Trial. International Journal Of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1072-5245.12.2.164