The challenges facing those of us who work in Emergency medicine are well known: the shifts into or through the night; the system under constant pressure; the clinical complexity; the difficulty in maintaining a normal life outside of work. This project isn’t about establishing the problems we face, it is about discussing solutions, supporting one another and, perhaps, helping to change the environment in which we work. The inspiration largely comes from the American College of Emergency Physicians – please see their wellness section online: https://www.acep.org/wellnesssection. EMTA’s wellbeing week 2017 is something of an experiment.
It may become a repeating event and it would be delightful if we collaborated in future with our colleagues in other specialties and from other professional backgrounds. But initially we will start small. Over the week of 7th -13th August EMTA will share personal views, podcasts and articles as well as discussion of some approaches to the issues which affect our collective wellbeing. Alongside this, it may be that individual Emergency departments, trusts or LETBs (deaneries) wish to share or trial actions to improve staff well-being.
There are already many examples of good practice that would be good to share and acknowledge and also scope for small things that can make a real difference – proper coffee, a fruit-bowl in the staff room, a social event for all staff, even a spa day...
If you are inspired to take this on, very best of luck to you and please, do share: #EMwellbeing.
Loosely, the themes will be as follows (allowing for overlap):
1. Fatigue, shift-work and rotas. 2. Stress, burn-out and ‘resilience’. 3. Making training work. (Or, making work, training.) 4. Healthy work < life balance. 5. Mentoring and bullying.
Above all, the philosophy underlying EMTA’s Wellbeing in Emergency week is best encapsulated by Cliff Mann, former RCEM President: “We are not victims, we are heroes; we are not without intellect, endeavour or even imagination and we can and must do more to protect all who join ‘Team EM’”
Good luck, dear colleagues. EMTA will do all it can to support you and we encourage you to look after yourselves and each-other.