April 23, 2014

Strength For Serving

Health care providers in general, and those who work with the underserved in particular, are at risk for provider burnout and compassion fatigue. Many healthcare clinicians put the needs of their patients before their own, often to the detriment of their own health and wellness.

Strength for Serving, an ACU project, grew out of our recognition of the needs of medical providers serving the underserved and the complexities of our health care system. By promoting professional health and wellness, we believe that many “occupational risk factors” can be altered, and that clinicians can effectively overcome and prevent the isolation and burnout associated with health care practice.

Through its focus on Strength for Serving, ACU hopes to:

  • identify the risk factors of working with the underserved
  • identify tools to help create and sustain a healthy work environment
  • recognize the signs of burnout and compassion fatigue
  • link providers to resources to help evaluate work-place wellness
  • provide resources for administration and staff to develop wellness programs within a health system
  • link staff interested in the topic to other people with similar interests
  • share promising practices implemented in clinics which serve the underserved

In our approach to bringing wellness to those serving the underserved we would like to introduce “Recess” a documentary written and directed by ACU wellness associate Yasaman Nejat. Watch our documentary (to the right) about how one Washington D.C. based community health clinic runs a staff operated, 10 minute stress reduction “Recess” program, that costs nothing and is fun!

For more information on Strength for Serving, please contact Lois Wessel, CFNP.

Resources

Instant Recess®
Visit the Instant Recess website to learn more about Instant Recess®: Building a Fit Nation 10 MINUTES AT A TIME by A. Toni Yancey, MD, MPH, including program guides and additional resources.

Online Toolkit
Instant Recess® Toolkit
sponsored by KEEN
A toolkit for implementing the Instant Recess® program in your workplace, including a cost-benefit calculator.

Article
Stress and Provider Retention in Underserved Communities
(PDF) *
A. Seiji Hayashi, MD, MPH, Emily Selia, MPH, Karen McDonnell, PhD

Tips for Handling Stress - Lists 30 things you can do immediately to reduce stress.
*Reprinted with permission from Meharry Medical College, the copyright holder for the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

New Recommended Resources from the Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic has extensive resources on stress and steps to achieving a better work-life balance. Here are a few that we recommend.

Work-life balance: Tips to reclaim control– discusses the signs of imbalance and steps you can take to strike a better balance.

Job burnout: Spotting it — and taking action– learn to spot the signs and stop burn out among clinicians.

Stress assessment: Rate your stress level– an interactive self assessment tool to help you better understand your stress.

Stress relief: When and how to say no- How much is too much, and the key to saying “no.

”The Mayo Clinic Stress Blog – written by Edward T. Creagan, M.D, there are some of our favorite posts:

Video: Standing stretches for the workplace

This video demonstrates simple standing stretches you can do in the workplace. Note: if the video doesn’t play, you may need to download and install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

 

Recess at Work: An Employee Wellness Program at La Clinica del Pueblo, Washington, DC.

Part 1: Introduction to Recess at Work

Part 2: Recess at Work is Cost Effective

Part 3: Recess Program Builds Employee Wellness

Part 4: Why Start a Recess Program

Part 5: Recess is Staff Led