And yet, this battle is not over. Far from it. The second wave of COVID is firmly upon us.
Though we have learned a lot about how to manage this contagion, developed impactful system changes, and have had admirable local and regional leadership; we now enter this second wave with the added burden of a general sense of “COVID-fatigue”, varying degrees of societal indifference to this predicament, and the need to concurrently manage all that is not COVID.
We proudly accept our task of providing quality care that is safe for our patients, our colleagues, our families, and ourselves.
In times of such uncertainty and responsibility, it is human to feel anxiety, stress, and burnout. It is a normal reaction that I suggest not be suppressed, ignored, or minimized. It should be acknowledged, accepted, and appreciated for what it is… a “vital sign” that needs attention.
Burnaby Hospital MSA has been a leader on the wellness front. Our dedicated MSA Wellness Subcommittee is chaired by Dr. Clement Fung. Through his insights and leadership, a framework and structure has been created on how to best measure and improve the wellness of our medical staff.
Fraserhealth has made significant contributions. A FHA Regional Wellness Group has been created and their influential Medical Staff Wellness Strategic Plan has been unanimously endorsed by HAMAC. This is a keystone document that will serve as a critical step to creating a “community of wellness” with “compassion for self and others” across FHA. For example, this month, a series of inspiring events have been arranged for the FH Physician Wellness Virtual Forum.
Furthermore, The Doctors of BC Physician Health Program is a sterling and reliable resource to support physicians and learners in times of need.
Ultimately, I believe that in order for our medical staff to firmly navigate this pandemic, we will all need to double down on the core strength that has always defined Burnaby Hospital: our unwavering collegiality to support each other regardless of our Department, Title, or Position. We are one.
We have and will continue to support each other. We will watch for signs of stress and burnout amongst our colleagues. We will ask “Are you okay?” We will listen. We will direct our colleagues to trusted resources. We will help as best we can.
This crisis is not a sprint. It is a marathon. We all have a part to play, and we will need to ensure that we take care of ourselves and our families in order to continue to provide quality patient care
We have done our best. And together, supporting each other, we will continue to do our best.