Sunday, January 19, 2014

MedX Live! Empowerment = Self-Care vs. Burnout

I'm excited to be moderating MedX Live this Tuesday, January 21st, 2014**—we have a crack panel of Stanford Medicine X attendees to discuss the power of self-care to beat burnout and fatigue. My guests are ePatients Emily Bradley, Hugo CamposBritt Johnson and Jody Schoger, and psychologist, Dr. Ann Becker-Schutte.

We'll share stories about using the conference's Wellness Room to manage the fallout from the heightened excitement, adrenaline and information overload experienced by ePatients in particular, and all attendees in general. We'll touch on the emotions that can arise from the types of pressures ePatients confront at events like these, and, if you've never heard the term "Spoonie" you'll learn all about it.

Then we'll zoom in and discuss Self-Care—the often underestimated and misunderstood tool available to anyone seeking to gain a measure of empowerment over stress, burnout and fatigue (including the Compassion Fatigue so prevalent in healthcare).
**MedX Live is a live Google Hangout and simultaneous tweetchat from Stanford Medicine X. Join us this Tuesday, 1/21/2014 from 5:30-6:30 pm. Watch the broadcast here and make sure to use and follow the #MedX hashtag on Twitter where Nick Dawson will be fielding your questions.

Food For Thought:

1. In this short video from Medicine X's "The Buzz With Hayley" series, Emily Bradley discusses the Wellness Room and the challenges a conference attendee with active disease symptoms might face:

2. A blog post about the Wellness Room; picture below:

3. Great blog post about an ePatient's decision to use the Wellness Room from the blog 710.9. Relevant excerpt:
The next morning, after opening remarks, I spent the first session in the Wellness Room. I didn’t want to. So far I had only used the Wellness Room during breaks. But I was really hurting, and knew that continuing to push myself would lead to even more pain, and keep me from really benefiting from the sessions I did attend. So, I planted myself on a lounger in the Wellness Room, turned on the MedX live feed on my laptop, plugged in my headphones and heating pad, and closed my eyes. That was a tough decision to make, but I probably got more out of that session via the live feed than I could have if I’d stayed in the room and watched it live, and it meant I was in better shape for the rest of the day. (emphasis mine)

4. In his "Healthy Boundaries" Just Talking podcast, fellow Medicine X ePatient Advisor, Chris Snider interviews Dr. Ann Becker-Schutte about self-care. It's an inspiring, practical resource.

5. Googling "Dr. Ann Becker Schutte Self-Care" yields a wealth of resources as she has written extensively on the subject. Here's a post that discusses whether self-care is selfish or not.

6. Interesting excerpt from a piece by Norman Rosenthal M.D., in the Huffington Post about Meditation and Productivity in Business—in this context the author is recommending Meditation as a tool for self-care:
We're not designed to live on adrenaline 
Psychologists have documented variability in alertness and mental acuity across the day. Our personal experience confirms this. We dash for that extra espresso drink or diet soda so as to keep going, or settle our nerves down with a beer or cocktail at the end of the day. Aside from using these exogenous chemicals to regulate our state of mind, when stressed we release endogenous brain neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and dopamine, to help keep us sharp.
But these chemical systems have developed through the course of evolution for short-term crises and challenges, not as part of an ongoing lifestyle. We are not geared to "live on adrenaline." In fact, the biggest cause of long-term sick leave, work stress, has been called the "The Black Death of the 21st Century." (emphasis mine)
Article reference: