Practitioner Self-Care and Workplace Wellbeing

Self care and an awareness of burnout and compassion fatigue as occupation-related risks is important for workers in the health care and community support sector.

 

Resources for self-care and workplace wellbeing

Beyondblue’s National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students (2013) has identified age, gender, professional experience and stigma concerns as issues to acknowledge, while Safe Work Australia has reported that the health & community services sector is amongst the top 5 industry sectors for mental stress claims. To better manage work stress, compassion fatigue and burnout, one suggested approach is to adopt an 'ABC’s of Prevention' model - Awareness, Balance and Connections.

A number of organisations also produce publications that offer practical information and strategies for self care as an essential element of medical professional life.

A number of organisations have developed resources that enable self-assessment and management of burnout, and provide practical information and strategies for self-care.  Health professionals may also find support and resources through their Employee Assistance Program (if available), their professional college or association.

  • The Provider Resilience mobile phone application, produced by the US Department of Defense, gives providers tools to guard against burnout and compassion fatigue.
  • The Black Dog Institute, provides information and resources for workplace wellbeing.
  • The ProQOL Tool is a self-assessment tool for health professionals, specifically focussing on both the negative and positive effects of helping others experiencing suffering and trauma.  Sub-scales for compassion satisfaction, burnout and compassion fatigue directly assess these issues for health care providers.  The tool can assist individuals to monitor their own levels of distress and progress over time.
  • Heads Up is developed by beyondblue and contains a range of resources for managers, staff and businesses to enable positive workplace mental health.
  • Workplace Wellbeing Factsheet: Printable factsheet produced by the Black Dog Institute.
  • RACGP – Keeping the doctor alive: This low cost guidebook provides all medical practitioners with information and resources on strategies for self care as an essential element of their professional life.
  • Tackling Depression at Work: This low cost practical guide for employees and managers is published by Black Dog Books.