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The healthcare system is broken and mindfulness will not fix it !

Updated: Mar 20

Hello! Is there any body out there? My healthcare friends are drowning! Don't tell me to be flipping mindful !

As a healthcare worker in today's world, my mind is FULLY aware of the inequities that my patients are facing in housing, food insecurity, abuse (of all kinds), and in health care access. We are FULLY aware of the toll and unnecessary suffering that occurs when a patient loses their job, when dialysis centers are suddenly closed, and skilled nursing intensive care centers are downsized. As a psychologist, I am very MINDFUL that thousands of mental health providers took unpaid leave for 10 weeks in protest of overwhelmed systems and pressures. A quick google search about health care work stoppage reveals that 2022 witnessed nearly 30,000 health care workers walking off of the hospital floors and patient rooms to beg for adequate "staffing, better job conditions, and wages that keep pace rising cost of living"

Do you know a healthcare worker struggling with burnout or compassion fatigue?

  • Yes

  • No

Quietly quitting, great resignation, early retirement, burn out, compassion fatigue, and so on. All these popular terms for describing concerns about morale in a variety of industries, including health care centers. Recently, I participated in a mindfulness program for aforementioned provider burnout, which had the opposite impact on me than I had expected. Listening to my colleagues in other departments across the hospital, I learned how many providers and leaders are regularly over-extending themselves. It made me mindful of how much pain and suffering exists within our medical communities. We are each managing our own personal dramas, family dynamics, inequities, as well as shouldering the burden of a shifting healthcare system.

Mindfulness is not about fixing the system. It is about making sure you don't go down with the flames. I am passionate about this work because YOU, me, all of us who are committed to help heal those around us, need to find a way to sustain ourselves as the "rule books" of this world continues to shift in unforeseen ways. During this time, of all times, it is important for all healthcare providers to harness their most valuable resource, which is YOUR time and attention.

Creating spaces for compassion in small and large ways is the way forward. Of course, this is old news for anyone in the health care profession. There are these indescribable "healing moments", it is a felt experience when both the one who is helping and the one needs help are synchronized. They are working as a unit, a rhythm is developed, and you can see each others as partners in process of healing, and as fellow human beings. It is precious.... and an extremely nourishing part of the work. To sustain this work of healers in this post-pandemic era, it is essential for health care workers to step back, cultivate compassion for themselves, hone their healing qualities, create space for reflection, and restore a sense of purpose in their work.

LEARN MORE about the Heal the Healers Overview

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