15 Mar Doctors and Wellbeing
One of our lovely Bird associates sent me an article on the wellbeing issues in the medical profession. The article shines a light on the emotional challenges doctors face when navigating their careers, and the lack of infrastructural support available to them when they first start out.
Much like the police, social services, charities and NGOs there is little by way of support to process the hugely challenging work staff undertake. People working in these sectors support clients who have experienced a whole spectrum of misfortune, and are often expected to dust themselves off before moving on to the next client or patient with renewed energy and gusto.
They are expected to be super-human.
Humans need to process challenging information, humans need to recognise and process the emotions that naturally come up in response to hard situations. And yet those working in these professions are not given the chance to do so.
Those working in a supportive capacity are attracted to working in such fields because they have empathy, because they want to make the world a better place. However, they’re expected to suppress that empathy in order to ‘get on with the job.’
It’s a confusing and impossible state of affairs. It’s clear why people working in such sectors feel depressed, burnt out, disillusioned, overwhelmed and about ready to jack in their whole careers.
I gave up on mine in the not-for-profit sector five years ago. I was burnt out and suffering from compassion fatigue. I had nothing left to give. I was working with many individuals who had suffered abuse, and I wasn’t fully recognising and processing the emotions I was experiencing as a result of doing such work. It took me about eighteen months after leaving to start feeling myself again.
People working in any kind of caring capacity need support, they need the opportunity to process what they’ve witnessed and to not feel ashamed to do so. If we are to create a sustainable system of support we need to see more wellbeing infrastructure in place in such industries.
At Bird we are part of that movement. If you are a doctor, a nurse, a police person, a social worker, an NGO worker, a charity worker, a carer or a teacher please get in touch. We have tools, processes and ideas to help you and the rest of your team feel hopeful, resilient and passionate about the work we love that you do.
And if you know of any doctors, nurses, police people, social workers, NGO workers, charity workers, carers or teachers please forward this email to them and invite them to sign up to the blog. We aim to support as many people as we can.
Sending love, and thanks for all that you do, Hannah and the Bird Team