How Does The Healthcare System Manage Stress?*

*This is a collaborative post*

The most stressful jobs in the UK are in the healthcare sector, as well as education and welfare. All around the world, healthcare providers are going through a lot of stress as a result of their long working hours and their hectic schedule. In a profession that pays such attention to the wellbeing of its patients, the focus couldn’t be more different for doctors, surgeons and nurses. 
According to the survey in the US, 69% of health care workers report feeling stressed. Considering the current NHS crisis in the UK and the drops in EU professionals since the Brexit referendum, it is fair to say that the percentage of stressed-out workers in Britain is a lot higher. Nevertheless, we don’t hear about many burnout cases in the healthcare sector. So how do professionals manage to stay on top of their field? 

Experts never stop learning 
First of all, medical experts are in a position where they constantly need to learn more about health conditions and patient behaviours to ensure they always provide the best of services. In a situation where they improve their knowledge all the time, through reading dedicated medical articles or joining online workshops to enhance your skills – such as ensuring in-depth care for young patients with the safeguarding children level 2 cheap online course, or training to deal with patients struggling with severe mental health disorders – professionals can sharpen their diagnostic and patient management competence. In other words, the better you get at what you do, the more stress-resilient you become. 

They learn to get their sh*t together
It’s important to understand that anybody who comes to the healthcare sector follows an extensive practice programme, during which they can develop an anti-anxiety mindset. You don’t become a nurse or a doctor overnight. You spend a lot of time working with professionals to hone your skills, and as you do, you learn to manage anxiety and high pressure. Ultimately, the main reason why many healthcare experts are better equipped to handle stress is that they’ve had to get used to getting their sh*t together early in their career. They can’t have the luxury of anxiety when other lives are in the balance. 

They are best placed to understand the risks of stress
As a healthcare worker, one of the first lessons you get to learn is to see the damage that stress can do to human health. Many patients struggle with a variety of health issues which are linked to stress. As a professional doctor or nurse, you have first-hand experience on what it can do to your mind and body if you ignore it. Therefore, at the first signs of feeling overwhelmed or getting aggressive, it’s helpful to have a coping strategy. Something as simple as breathing exercises can take the edge of a difficult situation and give you back control in a matter of minutes. In a hectic environment where time is of the essence, coping quickly and effectively is vital. 

There is no denying that doctors, nurses, surgeons and many other healthcare specialists have to learn to handle huge amounts of pressure on a daily basis. Stress resilience is a learned skill that they develop over time through their careers. Hopefully, this can give you a new form of respect for your GP, or maybe you can ask them for a few tips.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. Image source Flickr. Header image source Pexels.

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