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Physicians and others in the healthcare industry face unique pressures and challenges from their jobs daily, leading to higher-than-average rates of stress, excessive workloads, and burnout. As a result, this population also sees a significant number of consequences of the job, such as depression, exhaustion, and substance abuse. Well-being committees were formed to address these issues both for preventative and treatment purposes. The presence of this organization offers necessary resources to healthcare professionals that allow them to address their needs and concerns separate from potential disciplinary action.

The Center for Professional Recovery recognizes the value well-being committees bring to the support of healthcare professionals and works closely with these organizations to assist our clients in restoring their health, personal relationships, and professional reputation. The well-being committee offers confidential and informal support to professionals struggling with a variety of issues, particularly addiction and mental illness. Through our networking with these groups, we can provide our clients that additional support and counsel necessary to reclaim their lives.

Elements of Well-Being Committees

The purpose of the well-being committee is twofold: to support the needs of the healthcare professional and protect the safety of patients. To achieve this objective under the mandate of the Joint Commission well-being committees must include the following elements:

  • Education and resources about illness and impairment that commonly affects those in the healthcare industry
  • Self-referral by a doctor in need of support and guidance
  • A confidential referral process for others to refer a healthcare professional
  • Referral to the appropriate resources when evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment might be indicated
  • Adherence to the confidentiality of the professional seeking referral if the safety of patients or clients is not compromised
  • Evaluation of complaints or allegations to determine validity and credibility
  • Monitoring of the professional to protect the safety of patients until rehabilitation is completed
  • Proper reporting to appropriate leadership when patient safety might be compromised
  • Initiating the proper process if a healthcare professional fails to complete a rehabilitation program

The focus of the well-being committee is on education and support, rather than discipline. However, these organizations do have processes in place to refer professionals to the appropriate entities if discipline becomes necessary.

While well-being committees offer a wide range of support services, they are particularly useful for healthcare professionals struggling with substance abuse and dependency. In addition to working directly with our clients, the Center for Professional Recovery works closely with well-being committees and other groups that will be instrumental in returning our clients to their positions and restoring their reputations. We aim to make the transition from treatment to long-term recovery and back to the workforce as seamless as possible.

If you are a healthcare professional struggling with addiction, there are many avenues of help available to you. Well-being committees are designed for you to receive the resources, support, and assistance you need when substance abuse begins to take over. The Center for Professional Recovery is also there to offer the treatment you need to put your life back on track. Find out more today by calling our center at 855.422.4129.

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