Self Care Week (15-21 November) is now well underway. There have been some fantastic examples shared of ways in which people can practice #SelfCareForLife. These discussions have led us to consider the ways in which we can help healthcare professionals practice self care.
HCPs face challenging situations on a daily basis. They work long hours and often have to make critical decisions under pressure.
Our experience has shown giving HCPs time to reflect on situations via experiential learning can help them rid themselves of the proverbial monkeys on their backs.
Equipping them with effective communication skills can also give them the tools to reduce potential future stress.
So how can we do this?
When nurses and other HCPs attend our advanced communication skills workshops, we ask them to bring along a challenging situation they have experienced in clinical practice.
This challenge could be anything from having to deal with a highly distressed patient or a difficult colleague to communicating sensitive information.
Regardless of the challenge, what we see is how much anxiety, stress or concern these situations cause.
The negative emotions from these challenges can sometimes stay with HCPs for years.
I found the role play extremely useful and really helped me work through what had happened.
Reflection and learning
People are often hesitant to take part in role playing exercises.
However, acting out challenges often leads to a sense of relief.
The role play enables HCPs to reflect and talk about the situation they experienced.
This is turn gives them the opportunity to learn from the actor, their peers and course facilitators about what they do well and what they could try out in the future.
They can also test out different communication skills to see how they feel using them and the impact they can have.
As they take part in this activity you can often see the weight falling from their shoulders.
‘They are enough’
A key message to come from the above exercise is helping HCPs realise ‘they are enough’.
They can do their best but they cannot fix everything. Accepting this can help relieve stress and anxiety.
Another key message is that listening and being heard are incredible powerful tools for supporting wellbeing.
By helping our colleagues and friends to feel genuinely heard we can support them in their own self-care journeys.
Find out more
Keep an eye out for updates in the new year when we will be launching an e-learning course to further support HCPs.