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Looking After You

In providing care to your patients, you may sometimes feel overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed and anxious. Therefore, it is vital that you look after yourself.

A King’s College London study, published in January 2021, surveyed 709 healthcare staff between June and July 2020. Results suggested that more than half of the staff who participated reported good wellbeing. However, the research also revealed 45% of staff met the threshold for probable clinical significance, for at least one of:

  • severe depression
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • severe anxiety
  • problem drinking.

Listed below are some simple tips that we hope you will find useful to help build your resilience levels:

  • 1 Basic needs:
    try to eat well and keep hydrated. If possible, take regular exercise and aim to establish a healthy sleep schedule.
  • 2 Don’t be a slave to your phone:
    if you can, turn off your mobile when you go to bed. Don’t let the mobile message alerts disturb your sleep.
  • 3 Take breaks:
    when possible, take a break from patient-related duties. Trying to relax and enjoy a hobby or interest, however briefly, can bring mental health benefits.
  • 4 Communication with colleagues:
    talking openly and honestly with colleagues about fears and frustrations can be mutually beneficial.
  • 5 Remember your loved ones:
    where possible, stay connected with family and friends. They may be able to provide vital emotional support. In these unprecedented times, they will be aware of the pressures facing all healthcare workers. If you have supportive family and friends, do allow them to listen to your fears and concerns.
  • 6 Self-reflection:
    be honest with yourself: if you feel you need support, speak to colleagues or seek professional help.

PMP recognises the challenges clinicians face on a daily basis. In response, we have developed a series of webinars designed to support you. The webinars are available on our website. The first in the series, Avoiding Burnout, Enhancing Resilience is delivered by Dr Suzy Jordache, a clinician with many years of experience in this field.

If you are concerned about your wellbeing and wish to seek confidential professional advice, there are several organisations providing excellent resources and face-to-face help, such as the GMC Doctor Support Service, BMA Your Wellbeing and NHS Practitioner Health.

Finally, PMP would like to thank you and your colleagues for your tremendous dedication and hard work throughout the pandemic.

Originally published May 2021
Reviewed and updated April 2023.

This document does not constitute legal or medical advice and should not be construed as rules or establishing a standard of care. Because the facts applicable to your situation may vary, please contact your solicitor, legal advisor or other professional advisors if you have any questions related to your legal or medical obligations or rights, applicable law, contract interpretation, or other legal questions. © 2021 Premium Medical Protection Ltd. All rights reserved.
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