We have all journeyed through the marketable term of unprecedented times in the past few years, leading us to develop resilience and perseverance in days of little hope. A quote by Yasmin Mogahed reads, “Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt. You fall. But, you keep going.”
In the healthcare field especially, many individuals had to fight the urge to become numb to all that was happening around them throughout the pandemic. Becoming numb became a coping mechanism for some, as the weight of what they were experiencing was almost too much to bear. Individuals who choose to be in the healthcare field usually select such a career because they desire to help others. During the pandemic, however, even despite their best efforts, many of these once-hopeful professionals had to sit idly by as this virus did its worst on their patients. It is no wonder that numbness became a coping strategy.
Reflecting on this quote and what has been done since, however, we see numbness overshadowed by the inspiring picture of resilience that rose out of these times. Healthcare workers experienced the worst and felt the deep emotions associated with their work. It hurt immensely, especially as they felt failure creeping in. But because of their ability to keep going, they developed a resilience that has now inspired many and has equipped them with the strength to persevere in the face of adversity.
As we reflect on these circumstances now that we are emerging from these dark times, we see the various ways in which the pandemic has affected healthcare and healthcare leadership as a whole. There have been some shifts in this paradigm, leading individuals to explore what it takes to be an effective healthcare leader in 2022.
- Emergency Preparedness: Nobody can predict when or what the next large health outbreak could be. Even though the likelihood of another worldwide pandemic happening anytime soon is quite low, healthcare leaders still need to exhibit emergency preparedness. Not only should they have strategies in place, but they should be actively preparing their teams for emergency responses and encouraging flexibility.
- High-Quality Care Without Depleting Your Team: There has been a wave of resignation in the healthcare industry due to the pandemic. Healthcare leaders have a unique challenge in 2022 that calls them to deliver high-quality care to their patients while limiting the amount of stress they put on their staff. To be effective healthcare leaders in 2022, management must develop innovative and collaborative approaches that improve efficiency without compromising their workers’ mental health.
A Focus on Empathy: The healthcare industry needs to continue moving because patients need constant care. But with a burnt-out and resigning workforce, it is growing increasingly difficult to provide this well-rounded healthcare. To succeed in this 2022 environment, healthcare leaders will find many rewards in showing empathy to their workers, prioritizing their well-being both as a retention strategy, and building meaningful relationships that create a healthy working environment.
Originally published on Ines Dahne-Steuber’s website.