Caregivers – Prioritize Self-Care

Angie SzumlinskiHealth

In an article published in MedPage Today, Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., RN, vice president for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, and Professor and Dean of the College of Nursing at the Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, was quoted as saying “We cannot pour from an empty cup”. What an impactful statement! What Ms. Melnyk was referring to are our front-line caregivers, the people who stood their ground against the COVID-19 pandemic, who worked endless hours in PPE, overheated, stressed, and yet tireless.

The interview included references to healthcare professionals being “heroes” and she clarified that most healthcare workers didn’t enter the field to be heroes. They entered because they were really passionate about caring for other people. Although most clinicians do a great job of caring for everybody else, they don’t tend to prioritize good self-care.

It is not selfish to prioritize your own self-care. If we don’t practice good self-care, not only are we going to suffer, but the quality of the care we provide and the safety is going to suffer as well. Great article, worth sharing with your caregivers! Reinforce the importance of self-care, promote a healthy work/life balance for your staff, watch for burnout and exhaustion and remember to take care of yourself! Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned!