There is a general understanding that no one is happy with healthcare today. We even have the expectation that patients generally are and will be dissatisfied with their health care experience. But what about those who work to deliver this care? No one is really talking about the fact that our providers of care, the nurses and the doctors at the bedside, are not really happy with healthcare either.
This is because little, if anything, is being done for those working on the front lines, these providers of care in the trenches, those who we depend on to be there when we need care. In this increasingly challenging and highly scrutinized landscape, many bright and talented professionals are leaving the medical and nursing fields feeling frustrated and disillusioned. Many of them are suffering from compassion fatigue and burnout, living with the effects of this unique form of post traumatic stress disorder as broken people, unable to enjoy the full human experience of life any longer.
Dr. Gabrin believes that the term ‘compassion fatigue’ is a misnomer. The disease does exist, but it is not the result of too much compassion in the caregiver, but rather is the result of an empathetic overload that is caused by the myth of professional distance. He believes that the core problem for those who work in our current technology driven scientific health care system is that they are taught that getting close to and connecting with patients is bad for them and bad for patients. They are told not to get too close, It will overwhelm you, you won’t be able to make good decisions. Stay detached, stay clinical, and above all, stay professional. This, quite frankly, is not true and believing in this mythis at the very core of everyone’s frustration with modern western medicine.