As allied health professionals, our exacting schedules and heavy caseloads can make us feel like there is never a ‘right’ time or appropriate moment to just step back, take stock, and focus on the things that matter, and nothing exemplifies this more than the events of the last three years—after COVID, floods and fires, it’s safe to say that many of us, particularly frontline staff, are completely burnt out.
Working past capacity—almost permanently in crisis mode, doing more with less, service rationing—through natural disasters and a pandemic carries with it an element of trauma. It’s helpful and possibly therapeutic to call the last three years for what they’ve been: a traumatic experience.
This festive season, let’s unwind, recharge, and make room for some self-care. This issue of Allied Health Insights, we’re winding down for the holidays with four articles connected by themes of work-life balance, self-care, setting boundaries, and avoiding burnout.
Bec Rourke is an occupational therapist who shows us what’s possible when it comes to work-life balance, covering some of the highlights of her work ‘on the road’ as an occupational therapist. She also offers some sound advice for newly-graduated OTs.
Helen Whait provides some fascinating insights into phenomenon of burnout among allied health professionals, and what can be done to address it. She believes it’s time for a radical rethink of how we do things in allied health, and that we need to look at different models of care and find ways to support our healthcare workers so they can provide the best care possible.
Author of Self-Care For Allied Health Professionals and speech pathologist Alison Battye joins us to talk boundaries, and why they need to be well-articulated to ensure positive outcomes for ourselves and our patients. If we say yes to everything at work, we inadvertently make it more difficult for our colleagues, and they feel the pressure to do the same. It is empowering for your colleagues if you can openly say what you need.
The latest instalment in our A to Z of Allied Health series, exercise physiology is an emerging profession and demand for these allied health professionals is tipped to grow exponentially along increasing rates of chronic and complex health conditions globally. The support of an exercise physiologist can offer improved mental, emotional, social, as well as physical health outcomes for clients, as well as lifelong education, targeted rehabilitation and therapeutic programs to enhance quality of life.
The Allied Health Insights team would like to wish our readers a happy holidays, and an enjoyable and safe new year!
The AHP Playlist
“The Whole Yoga Thing” – A conversation with Dr Peter Donnelly | When Work Hurts Podcast
Staff wellbeing initiatives–like yoga classes–can feel like a cynical move by employers to paper over the cracks of the very serious issues affecting staff. But wellbeing is important, for healthcare workers and patients. Dr Peter Donnelly is a consultant paediatric intensivist Dr Peter Donnelly explains to clinical psychologist Dr Paula Redmond how staff wellbeing initiatives can be made more meaningful and effective.
Practicing Mindfulness to Minimize Stress & Burnout as a Healthcare Provider | Healthcare Provider Happy Hour Podcast
Certified mindfulness meditation facilitator Teresa McKee and physiotherapist Jennifer George discuss tips and techniques on how we as healthcare providers can integrate mindfulness into our everyday lives to minimise stress and ultimately reduce burnout risk and compassion fatigue.
Self-Care Resources For AHPs
Self-care planning for healthcare workers
“Self-care is often the first thing that gets sacrificed when life is busy and stressful. You may think that taking time for yourself seems indulgent. But self-care is not just about soothing activities; it’s about creating a plan that will help you focus, make decisions and stay healthy.”—Black Dog Institute
Self-Care for Allied Health Professionals
“Information and practical strategies to look after your physical and emotional wellbeing at home and in the workplace, exploring topics such as sleep and food, resilience and meditation, stress, conflict and adversity.”—Alison Battye