Updated: Nov 12, 2019
I was trying to write a blog post until I got stuck in a rabbit hole of very frightening statistics. I finished reading one article and it led me to another. Doctors are dying. Nurses are dying but it’s barely being studied. Nursing assistants are dying but it’s not even being talked about. The grim statistics of compassion fatigue are overwhelming.
The healthcare system is using bandaids to stop a bleeding artery.
Its response is commensurate only with its desire to maintain good public relations and continue to bring in patients.
Down my rabbit hole, I read over and over again that we need more research about why healthcare professionals are burning out. While research is helpful in creating headlines, we need to cut the crap. We KNOW why healthcare professionals are burning out, dropping out, getting sick, and even taking their own lives.
We don’t need another study; we need to make a change.
It’s time to take matters into your own hands. It’s time to doing something truly radical: LIVE. You need to save yourself. If you have something to give after that, then save your patients. I’m spinning this blog with gallows humor, straightforward communication, and non-academic writing so that maybe you will listen. However, gallows humor gets complicated when the tragedy about which we are joking involves our colleagues. When a colleague dies, it is like a mirror. You can see your own pain. You can feel the stress they felt. In fact, you probably felt it before the end but it was too painful to acknowledge.
The third leading cause of death in hospitals after heart disease and cancer is medical error! If you are exhausted, overwhelmed, grieving, panicking, distracted, sad, apathetic, or in denial, you are not saving anyone’s life. Compassion fatigue is no joke.
Rip that stupid Sponge Bob bandaid off. You are being wheeled into emergency surgery.
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