Supporting Resilience in Healthcare Workers

August 12, 2021 | Ambulatory Care Risk Management


​​​In healthcare, as in any field, ensuring that staff members feel fulfilled in their work is an ongoing challenge. The ability on the part of healthcare providers to bounce back amidst the demands of their work contributes fundamentally to patient safety and to the viability, success, and competitiveness of an organization. Staff and clinician resilience helps protect against errors and potential liability, and its cultivation demonstrates genuine concern for team member well-being.

Given the human characteristics best suited for the healthcare workplace, and the range of situations and personalities that staff bring to the workplace, the goal of supporting satisfaction and resilience in the face of stress is ongoing. As a result, the effort to support medical staff resilience and to counter employee burnout and discontent has received growing attention in recent years (see the guidance article Burnout in Healthcare Workers: The Elephant in the Room).

​​​​While the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for resilience programs, especially for certain segments of healthcare workforce, the World Health Organization had already added burnout to its international Classification of Diseases in 2019 as an occupational phenomenon. (1) And nearly two-thirds of doctors responding to a Medscape survey reported that their burnout symptoms had escalated during the pandemic. (2) The media at national and regional levels, such as CNN, TIME, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, have broadly covered the challenges to resilience among healthcare providers, especially during 2020.

Amid this increasing focus on maintaining staff engagement, managers must appreciate the critical role that resilience measures play by understanding the alternatives—burnout ­­and unhealthful behavioral responses—and their prevalence.

[Burnout in Healthcare Workers:...

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