Wellness and wellbeing are current hot topics. Yes, we know that systems need to be changed, and we are all working hard every day to bring about change. But in the meantime, as junior doctors, we still need to go to work every day.
The reality of dealing with life and death situations, the responsibility of decision-making, the shift work and lack of sleep, the inevitable errors, the time away from our families, can all lead to increased stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression.
It’s not a case of telling junior doctors that they have to toughen up, it’s about supporting ourselves to manage our work-life balance as well. That’s our individual responsibility.
And that’s why I was so pleased to see two fabulous, and different, resources launched this week.
First off the starting block was Australia, with WRapEM.org. WRaPEM was built by a team of Queensland-based Emergency Physicians with an interest in wellbeing.
WRapEM has a set of ten modules which are fully designed and collated so that you could run them in your department next week. Modules topics include communication, performance optimisation, reflection, and self-care. Each module has a comprehensive lesson plan consisting of pre-reading material, a guide for facilitators, a guide for learners, and some have slides already prepared, and quizzes for the end of the session. The modules allow user participation and can be adapted depending on how you would like to use them.
Next is You Got This, by a UK team of EM healthcare professionals in Bristol Children’s Emergency Department. This is a wellness website and blog specific to those working in Emergency Departments, which also contains links to a range of organisations that can offer support and advice when we need it. It has a promising wellness blog with some great posts to get their library started. And it has a department-specific wellness section which includes bespoke elements focused on support; activities (like an annual Wellness Week); innovations (things like positive incident reporting); resources (to share with your staff what the local wellbeing support is, social events in the department, wellbeing projects).
Both of these resources are excellent and they have something different to offer. Here at DFTB, we cannot wait to watch them grow and develop over the coming months, and I look forward to using them in my own department.