What about me? The personal wellbeing of Allied Health Professionals 

I recently had the privilege of delivering a webinar to a large audience of Allied Health Professionals on the topic of maintaining personal wellbeing in their role –  which by definition has a primary aim of helping others do just that!  In an early survey, the participants revealed a range of issues that they were facing in maintaining their own health and wellness. Scroll down to watch the full webinar presentation or below is a great excerpt of what was covered. 

It has long been accepted that health professionals often find themselves neglecting their own health and wellbeing due to the pressures and nature of their work and since the pandemic, additional factors have combined to create an unprecedented amount of reports of burn out.

We discussed the symptoms of burnout and how it differed from stress which can be short-lived and noted that often when we are working to support others, we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect role models.  And when we’re not, this creates even more self criticism and feelings of inadequacy.

Some of the contributing factors to burnout include:

  •  Unrealistic expectations
  • High responsibility, low control ( or ability to help
  • Lack of recognition or monotonous work
  • Values don’t align with actions, behaviours or values in your organization
  • Excessive workload
  • Little support
  • Inability to say No

If you recognise any of these in your life and work, you could well be at risk of experiencing burn out.  Symptoms could present as follows:

  • Having a negative or critical attitude at work
  • Dreading going into work
  • Low energy and interest at work
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Physical symptoms – headaches, backaches, illness
  • Easily irritated
  • Loss of meaning in your work
  • Pulling away emotionally
  • Blaming others for your mistakes
  •  Disenchantment with your career

So how do we counter-act this? 

In the session we discussed two methods that could help. The first was introduced as reminder that our physical health has extreme importance but frequently our mental wellbeing is where the problem lies.

1) Martin Seligman’s PERMA model from positive psychology was presented and reinforced as a means of getting our mental health on more of an even keel.  We teach this model in detail in our training. 

2) The second method is to encourage those AHPs to learn to coach their clients, and in this way, reduce the pressure or the responsibility to “fix” them.  We really do believe that our way of working can be an antidote to the enormous pressure that so many health professionals are under.  This is why our Allied Health Professional Certificate has been so popular and we have heard many stories of renewed enthusiasm and enjoyment of their work.

Watch full recording of the webinar “Maintaining Optimal Personal Wellbeing as an Allied Health Professional”