As a two-time cancer survivor, I can tell you that cancer really does change everything! As a patient, I did well, even though I did not very much care for being on the other side of a stethoscope.Five years into my practice of emergency medicine I developed my second cancer in 1997 and was forced to leave my clinical position as the second experience required more from me than the first. I recovered from the treatments and was able to return to the emergency department but now there were ten more years of obsessing about test results and waiting. Finally- after spending 20 consecutive years of my life worrying about and dealing with cancer, I could say I was cured
But I would never have guessed that the biggest fight for my life was yet to come. You see, I feel victim to compassion fatigue, which went untreated and blossomed into full-blown professional burnout, a form of secondary posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is no medicine or surgery you can take for this and until now there was also nothing we could do to heal it or prevent its occurrence.
This dis-ease develops slowly and creeps into our lives insidiously. We don’t even realize it is happening until it has consumed us. Many of you too may be feeling the effects of compassion fatigue or burnout, and not even realize that what YOU are experiencing is job related. Recent studies show that more than half the nurses and doctors who work in emergency departments all across America are suffering from some degree of burnout.
The worst part of all of this is that the results of burnout spill over into every area of your life. It is as if caring for others robs you of your own humanity. Each day we work, a little more of our humanity is eroded as our dis-ease worsens.
In all the research I did, I found no solution for this problem. The effort required for me to find my own way back from burnout, back to a full spectrum healthy emotional experience of life. This was some of the hardest work I have ever done.
I now believe that compassion fatigue is a misnomer and that the real name for this condition should be empathetic overload. I also believe that compassion fatigue and burnout need never occur, and if they do, there is a clear path back to solid emotional health. I believe that I have found the path that will quickly bring us all back from burnout and I am extremely passionate about sharing what I have learned with all of you.
This is why I have created Clear2Care. It is full of content designed specifically for you- so that you can find your own way home to feeling good again about who you are and what you do. I want you to get your life back too. I want you to feel fully alive again! I want joy, happiness and real lasting satisfaction to be yours again. The best part of the solution is that you do not have to quit your job or leave the profession.
I believe that caring for others should be an emotionally rewarding health generating experience. I believe that there is nothing better than caring for others, making a real difference that matters for them. I believe in changing the world, making it a better place, one patient encounter at a time.
Take a look around, I will share with you what I believe is the root cause of the problem and show you how to eliminate it. You will start feeling better very soon.