Compassion Resilience for
Health and Human Services
The reality of working in the health care field is that it is both exhilarating and stressful.
Caring for suffering clients can be incredibly rewarding, emotionally draining and physically and intellectually demanding. The stress of working in an evolving practice environment with complex technologies, significant time pressures, and regulatory and organizational demands can take its toll on the well-being and resilience of health care providers.
To help others effectively, we must examine our capacity physically and professionally. The content of this toolkit uses research and best practices related to resilience, positive psychology, compassion fatigue, organizational psychology, and mindfulness.
From a Triple to Quadruple Aim
In examining organizational culture and systems, a strong case exists for provider well-being, including compassion and resilience, being identified as a core value and pillar of health care organizations. What is known as the "Triple Aim"— enhancing client care, improving population health outcomes, and lowering costs — is widely accepted as a compass to optimize systems.
Yet the health care workforce reports widespread burnout and dissatisfaction associated with lower client care satisfaction, reduced health outcomes, and potentially increased costs.
Therefore, it is imperative that a fourth pillar, provider well-being, be added to the current compass. Without promoting the well-being and resilience of health care providers, it becomes increasingly more challenging to make positive impacts in the other three pillars.
What is Compassion Resilience?
Resilience is the ability to recover and continue on in the face of adversity without being overwhelmed or acting in dysfunctional ways. Compassion combines the consciousness of others' distress and a desire to alleviate it. Compassion resilience is "maintaining our physical, emotional, and mental well-being while responding compassionately to people suffering." For those in the health care field, this may be understood as:
The ability to maintain our physical, emotional and mental well-being (using energy productively) while compassionately caring for those who are suffering,
Identifying and addressing the barriers to caregivers/families and colleagues being able to effectively partner on behalf of clients, and
Identifying, preventing, and minimizing compassion fatigue within ourselves.
Think of this resilience as a reservoir of well-being that we can draw upon on difficult days and in difficult situations.
Why Build Resilience in Providers in Health Care Agencies?
A focus on compassion and resilience will guide all staff back to the core values and the drive for a sense of purpose that drew them to work in health care in the first place. Health care providers aren't the only ones who benefit from a focus on resilience. Administrators, supervisors, client services staff, para-professionals, and others who form the health care community contribute to the decisive elements that influence a thriving agency. Find out more by booking a resistance training with Community Children's Center staff.