Staff & Provider Engagement | Supporting the Workforce

Insult to Injury: COVID 19 and Clinician “Burnout”

Allison Chrestensen, MPH, OTR/L | Principal Consultant, Tandem Healthcare Solutions
Stephanie “Stevi” L. Shively, Ph.D. | Medical Burnout and Traumatization Consultant

Since the Surgeon General declared “physician burnout” a major crisis in 2016, it has remained a topic of intense national debate, inspiring many studies and interventions. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated stress and trauma across the healthcare professions. This crisis presents the opportunity to re-examine the scope of the challenge and to evolve the language used to describe the unique experiences of healthcare professionals across disciplines and work settings. The speakers will critique the current language surrounding clinician “burnout” and suggest more inclusive and actionable terminology. They will also argue that clinician distress is prevalent across the healthcare disciplines and that the collective focus should be expanded to include allied health professionals and other healthcare workers. They will demonstrate how such changes not only allow for more meaningful, individualized responses, but also prevent suffering from being ignored, even concealed, by the illusion of robust intervention.

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