It might sound a bit odd, suggesting doctors, who are medical professionals after all, need support from holistic healthcare. But bear with us on this one. The NHS has been in the spotlight now for a long time, particularly when it comes to the amazing doctors and nurses who are still striving to provide the best care they can during a time of crisis. The NHS is under a lot of strain right now, and that strain can be felt all the way from the top down to the bottom, through the doctors, nurses, technicians and admin staff working on the ground. All of that stress isn’t healthy, and ultimately causes doctors to burn out. But can we do anything about it?
Things That May Shock You About the NHS
Don’t get us wrong – the NHS, as an institution, is an amazing thing. But the way medical professionals, and specifically doctors are treated as employees is, quite frankly, shocking sometimes. If you don’t believe us, we strongly recommend giving this book a read. This Is Going To Hurt is written by Adam Kat, a doctor who chronicled his experiences in a hilarious yet hard-hitting way. Among the anecdotes about delivering babies and the funny last things people say before they go under aesthetic, he reveals some troubling things about the way the NHS treats its doctors. Just a few examples include:
• Being forced to call colleagues and find his own shift cover while curled around a toilet suffering from food poisoning.
• Unpaid overtime just to provide a ward with someone to care for patients.
• Forced 24+ hour shift seasonal work for years on the trot, with no option of a break or switching. Christmas was instead celebrated on his next day off – the 6th of January.
• Snatching mouthfuls of lunch in-between patients because the lunch break just didn’t materialise.
• Sleeping in the car because they are simply too exhausted to drive home.
• Attempting to research a condition on the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology website, only to discover it has been blocked as ‘pornography’.
• Having to find time and energy to work a second job because the pay is so cripplingly poor. Kay highlights that the £3 an hour parking meter outside the hospital was earning more than he was as a junior doctor.
• An unofficial code of silence preventing staff from getting counselling or help when they need it.
The Realities Of A Doctors Life
It’s that last point that worries us the most. In his book, Kay says that after a complication during a caesarean, the baby didn’t make it and the mother lost 12 litres of blood and was whisked off to intensive care. While Kay knew this wasn’t his fault, he was still heavily affected by it.
“I went six months without laughing. Every smile was just an impression of one – I felt bereaved. I should have had counselling – in fact, my hospital should have arranged it. But there’s a mutual code of silence that keeps help from those who need it most.”
Ultimately, that incident was what triggered Kay’s desire to leave medicine. He didn’t speak to anyone, not even his parents, about the trauma and guilt he was feeling, and a few months later he walked away from the profession. The NHS lost an amazing doctor, purely because there was no follow up care or support system in place to look after him while he did his job.
How Holistic Healthcare Can Help
The message Kay is sending is quite clear. The men and women in white coats are humans too, and we need to remember that. How can we possibly expect these amazing men and women to continue to support, treat and care for us day in and day out, when they aren’t receiving the level of care they need?
This is where holistic healthcare can come in. This approach treats the human being as a whole, and looks beyond individual symptoms.
With holistic healthcare, doctors can have access to tools, techniques and support to not only help them cope with the difficulties they face every day, but to build more resilience and make them better healthcare professionals themselves. A holistic healthcare plan for a hospital is critical for managing the stress, emotional damage and mental health issues affecting 1 in 4 doctors in the NHS today.
Education classes can be slotted into schedules within hospitals, giving doctors access to resources they desperately need. The NHS is short on doctors and nurses, and in reality they are losing more to stress, pressure and lack of support than anything else. At The Holistic Healthcare Group, we provide a range of therapies, education and support services to hospitals, doctors surgeries and other healthcare providers, helping them retain staff and improve their quality of life and care.
If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with us for your free consultation.