Mindful Self-Compassion benefits health care providers, especially those lacking in self-compassion
Burnout in the healthcare profession today is over 50% in some regions of the world with many physicians and nurses leaving the profession. The rate of suicide among physicians in the United States is double the national average for professionals in comparable fields. While traditional forms of meditation have been proven to improve stress and overall well-being, many healthcare professionals do not practice consistently, if at all, and many report that meditation as “too touchy-feely” or “too time-consuming.”
Mindful Self-Compassion, which includes meditation, also offers tools and practices that can be accessed quickly DURING the experience of suffering alongside patients and families, when the healthcare professional cannot step away to attend to their own self-care.
Additionally, in the trauma-inducing profession of healthcare, Mindful Self-Compassion directly addresses backdraft, encouraging the tentative healthcare provider to move slowly into awareness and emotional availability, especially since the healthcare profession has traditionally taught individuals to compartmentalize such emotions. More specifically, healthcare professionals — while quick to recognize the suffering of their patients and families — are very slow to identify their own personal suffering, even hesitating to use the word “suffering” in reference to their own experience.