As a mental health provider caring for members of the health care workforce, I’ve met with several clinicians as they recalled events from their work that invoked terror, rendered them helpless, or triggered immense feelings of sadness, guilt, or fear. In some cases, the work intrudes into their dreams and their waking thoughts outside of work. Most employees are able to reconcile the work that they do and the care that they provide with their personal values, beliefs about the world and about themselves. However, in some instances, especially in cases of medical error or unexpected outcomes, even for these well-adjusted employees, their limits may be tested.
Our hope in sharing this work is that the champions within each organization will feel better equipped to support those caring for the vulnerable patients of New Hampshire and Vermont. The more embedded supports are within the environment, the more normalized it will become to ask for and receive help.
M. Chase Levesque, PsyDM
Samuel Casella, MD, MSc
Tanya Lord, PhD, MPH
The Foundation for Healthy Communities serves as the statewide leader and unified voice for New Hampshire’s hospitals and health systems. Founded in 1934, NHHA represents its members through advocacy, education and information in support of their mission to improve the health and well-being of the patients and communities they serve.