I read an article recently about “compassion fatigue.” It acknowledges that there is a “cost of caring” for others in physical and emotional pain. Inherent in healthcare and, therefore, healthcare workers, is a strong service-orientation and difficulties in acknowledging or recognizing their own needs. During this incredibly challenging time for every single person working in a hospital, self-care has become non-existent. Stressors abound and range from physical strain of protective equipment (dehydration, heat, exhaustion), physical isolation (restrictions on touching others, even after working hours), constant awareness and vigilance regarding infection control procedures, conflict between health priorities, and the wishes of patients and their families regarding quarantine.
As we are prone to prioritize everyone else above our own needs, self-care should take center stage. While it can be complex and challenging, recognize that without you, the patients in our community have one less advocate – one less pair of hands helping them – one less caring spirit. Be kind to yourself and look to resilience. On August 12th, we will be hosting an open forum to facilitate discussion about how we’re coping through COVID. This forum will provide a way for our Onslow Memorial Hospital Community to share coping strategies with others, connect with co-workers, and provide support to those who may need it.
I look forward to speaking with you on August 12th. To sign up for Coping Through COVID, register in Netlearning.