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Clinicians Working With Severe Trauma Survivors: Combating Burnout

Burnout is defined as feeling cynical, exhausted, and detached from work, often due to meeting the constant demands that come with caring for others. Those in medical positions, such as doctors, physicians, first responders, clinicians and more are in prime conditions for burnout to occur.

Burnout is defined as feeling cynical, exhausted, and detached from work, often due to meeting the constant demands that come with caring for others. Those in medical positions, such as doctors, physicians, first responders, clinicians and more are in prime conditions for burnout to occur. If not managed effectively and in a healthy way, clinicians are at risk for not only losing time and productivity in their careers, but also run the risk of developing a mental illness or other stress-related condition. Specific instances that serve as common occurrences for clinicians, such as working with severe trauma survivors, can certainly spark emotional burnout.

A 2015 review published in the journal Burnout Research sought to discuss the impact of working with severe trauma survivors on clinicians; with burnout being a common scenario in these types of professions, the researchers provided several strategies for coping with this concern. For many survivors of trauma, a lot of emotional processing takes place – clinicians then serve as that mediator as survivors navigate a world of hate, anger, fear, and sadness, which can take a lot of mental energy from the clinician. Overall, the following suggestions were provided:

 

  • Create a support network – with fellow colleagues, peers, and other professionals, develop support from the people around you whom you can lean on when overly stressed. Sometimes releasing some of those emotions by talking them out with someone can be exactly what you need to move on with your day.
  • Be as versatile as you can – find unique opportunities that allow you “switch hats” every now and then; in doing this, you will be able to take a break from populations that are more taxing to your mental health, while still working towards a worthy cause. In addition, extending your own knowledge and skills can be a fantastic way to expand your area of interests in clinical care.
  • Take care of your own self first – be sure that you’ve healed from your own trauma first. If you haven’t, working with patients who have severe trauma histories could trigger you without you even realizing it. Balance your personal and professional life, find ways to get exercise, and take regular breaks to give yourself adequate time to recuperate throughout your day.
  • Become your own advocate – many in the healthcare field do not receive adequate recognition for what they do; promote yourself in areas where its needed to feel supported in your position.
  • Look at the glass as “half full” – focus on the positive changes you’ve observed in your clients, and try not to dwell on misery. If you need to, focus specifically on the good things that have come from your career, your family, and your life. Write them down if you need reminders.

 

If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about treatment programs to best suit your needs. It’s never too late for you to begin your own journey to recovery.

Created by professionals for professionals, our Professionals Treatment Program utilizes industry proven practices for fully restoring professionals back to better health. We serve multiple industries with our specifically catered programs and services, providing life changing care for addiction and co-occurring issues. Call us today to book an appointment: 855-422-4129

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