As many of our colleagues continually face the rigours of the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has never been a more pertinent time to ask ‘Are you Ok?’ But not just today in acknowledgement of R U OK? Day. As leaders, it should be part of our daily routine. It is important to take the time to stop, check in, listen and show compassion.
We have proven we are a tight knit fraternity over the past 18 months, so let’s harness that. We need to forge our collegiality within all ranks, particularly the younger doctors and trainees on our watch within our varying health services who have been thrust into an unprecedented situation without many years of experience to fall back on.
This year the message for R U OK? Day is ‘Are they really OK? Ask them today.’ Which poses the question – Do we know how the people in our world are really going?
Don’t wait until someone’s visibly distressed or in crisis. Make a moment meaningful and ask them how they’re really going. It’s never a bad time to ask.
Conversely, it is ok to reach out. As Medical Leaders we are all too often influenced by the stigma of showing our vulnerability and the desire not to trouble others with our burdens. While it is important to show empathy and kindness to others, we need to remember it is as equally important to show the same compassion to ourselves.
In recognition of R U OK? Day 2021 today, RACMA acknowledges the significant responsibility our Members carry as the custodians of clinical quality, safety and system integrity. At times the duty can be heavy, hence we need to remember we are not immune to the emotional and mental impacts of this public health crisis and the daily pressures of work. The physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of all Medical Leaders is crucial otherwise we cannot do our jobs and ensure the delivery of quality healthcare.
The R U OK? mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with and support those around them. R U OK? encourages everyone to use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:
1. Ask R U OK?
3. Encourage action
4. Check in
For tips, ideas and resources on how to ask R U OK? within the workplace and our personal lives, click HERE.
R U OK? is a harm prevention charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives. Their work focuses on building the motivation, confidence and skills of the help-giver – the person who can have a meaningful conversation with someone who is struggling with life.
9 September 2021
Author: Felicity Gallagher
9th September 2021
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