Self-care is about quality and safety.
People generally enter the health care profession out of a profound sense of duty or calling to care for others. In pediatrics, nurses, doctors and other clinicians provide care as well as advocacy for children and families. They routinely go above and beyond to improve a child’s health and ensure a family’s access to resources that support the overall well-being of the child.
In addition, clinicians welcome opportunities to improve the quality and safety of patient care delivery. These discretionary efforts are seen as fundamental to the practice of medicine. What is far too often more difficult to accept and nurture is the focus on a clinical professional’s self-care — even though their own well-being is increasingly tied to the well-being of the patients they serve.
Studies show that external workplace pressures, busy schedules and the overwhelming nature of practicing medicine are significant deterrents that often prevent providers from thinking about their own wellness.
While it seems intuitive to connect provider well-being to the quality of care and patient experience, as well as health outcomes, solutions are not as clear-cut. First, providers must be able to recognize their own burn-out; then, feel empowered to address it; and, finally, have immediate access to resources that guide them in supporting their own well-being.
“I had a very good experience with Peer Support. The supporter was fantastic. This is a great program and I appreciate that it’s available to associates.”
Anonymous associate, post-Peer Support Survey
Maureen Leffler, DO, MPH
Chief Wellness Officer
Dr. Leffler leads our Center for Well-Being that includes Employee Health, Wellness and Well-Being. She is charged with guiding the programs and practices that address and support workforce well-being to meet associates’ physical, emotional, mental and social needs. She advises, “The goal of well-being work is to intervene at the systems level while also providing the necessary support for the individual. This work has never been more important. We are in the midst of a public health crisis when it comes to the well-being of the health care workforce.”