A woman uses a resistance band to represent resiliency.

Building Resiliency in Healthcare

As healthcare starts to recover from the pandemic and the related stresses and tolls begin to subside, we're seeing an increased focus on clinician well-being and resiliency.

What is Resiliency?

The term “resiliency” has actually been used with regard to healthcare for many years, but with more frequency (and urgency) now than ever. Resiliency is the ability to “bounce back effectively” after a stressful situation. The most-used example illustrating resiliency is to picture a rubber band. A rubber band will stretch as far as its elastic limit before it will break and that breaking point is dependent on its thickness and quality.

In applying the rubber band example in human terms, 2020 stretched many of us to or near our breaking point.

However, with regard to healthcare situations, terms such as mental health and burnout is being overused to the point, like some statistics, that topic is becoming meaningless and drawing less attention that it actually deserves. That’s where resiliency comes in.

Resiliency in healthcare is the ability to cope effectively and efficiently and recover from experiences such as illness, stress, emotional trauma and social and cultural isolation. All sounds familiar, doesn’t it when it comes to what we experienced in 2020. In fact, in the recent publication of the MGMA STAT reported that 46% of healthcare leaders have invested in leadership/resiliency training in the past year.

Like the rubber band, if your “breaking point” or personal resiliency is sufficient, you have the ability to “bounce back” after whatever life throws at you. But resiliency in humans doesn’t relate to IQ or toughness or quality of who you are or what you do. To be resilient requires a well-rounded approach, including physical well-being, social/community well-being, financial well-being and mental and spiritual well-being. Each of these areas need to be recognized in order to truly be resilient.

Self-Care Comes First

As your mom probably told you at some point, you need to take care of yourself first so you can take care of others. And healthcare is all about taking care of others. That is where resiliency has its roots. Your attitude, both at work, socially and at home, affects those around you. Everyone is a leader in some capacity. And everyone can benefit from working on their resiliency. 2020 may have shone a spotlight on areas where we realized we could use some physical, social, financial or spiritual exercise.

Free Webinar Series

Our free webinar series entitled “Keeping Perspective: A Balancing Act for 2021,” features three speakers offering their insights on leadership, self-care and managing stress and mental health. Register now for these three free sessions for tips to help you build up your resiliency to face what might be down the road.