These last two years have been extremely challenging for most health care professionals. Watching society challenge essential health and science principles that we have known to be fact has been difficult to bear.
Being villainized, health care workers went from being hailed “health care heroes” to being the target of hate, violence, and disregard.
These past few years have been a period of reckoning in many ways. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reckon with the shortcomings of our health care system, the racial disparities that exist within it, and how we as individuals can be complicit in systemic injustice. It has been a year of loss and grief and a year of hope and resilience.
Health care workers have continued to show up day after day to care for patients and save lives, despite the immense personal risk. They have shown each other and the world that they are strong, adaptable, and capable of so much more than we ever thought possible.
However, they are humans, and there comes the point in time where they reached their breaking point. Of course, they are not machines, and they cannot keep going at this pace forever.
So, they need to take some time to heal, rest, and recharge.
It has been over two years since the pandemic began and looking back, it is hard to believe how much has changed. So much has been lost, but also gained so much.
We have learned more about ourselves and each other, and we have understood the importance of taking care of our mental health.
We have seen the power of community and connection, and we have realized that we are all in this together.
The increase of awareness of wellness among doctors, is a fact. Finally, we are starting to talk openly about the factors that lead to burnout and its impact on our lives and work.
This conversation will continue long after the pandemic and will lead to lasting change in how we value and support our health care professionals.
Health and wellness need to be normalized in training, hospital systems, and insurance policies.
As we look forward, let us remember the lessons we have learned. The wellness of health professionals deteriorate as they burn out from the demands of the pandemic.
We have seen the results of being self-aware during a challenging situation compared to others who appear to be in denial of real-life challenges. We need to remember that we are all different, which is OK.
We also need to be mindful of our words and actions. We can all make a difference in someone’s life, whether it is a positive or negative impact. Let us choose to be the light for others during these difficult times.
The pandemic has forced us to change how we live, work, and interact with each other. It has been a time of great challenge but also of great opportunity. However, to overcome the difficulties, we need to rise to the occasion and stand up for what we know is true.
Physicians and health care providers have gone through the marathon and sometimes sprint of post-secondary training, graduate training, and residencies and fellowships.
They know what it is like to sacrifice and have limited social contacts due to the extreme demands of their training. So, in some way, their training has prepared them for where they are right now in society.
Scientific experts, supporters, and humans… Our healthcare professionals continue their work, responding to every challenge that awaits them.
Let’s believe in them. With them, we can overcome anything!