Main Article Content
Workplace Safety, Psychological safety, burnout
We read with great interest the article by D’Ettorre et al. on workplace safety and violence against healthcare workers in emergency medicine recently published in your esteemed journal. Authors address one of the critical issues faced in healthcare industry today. We wish to complement the article with some additional thoughts. As authors try to find remedies to minimize workplace violence against the healthcare providers by optimizing number of night shifts and adopting constant forward-rotating shift schedules, we need to augment this effort by continual effort to improve education and sensitivity amongst the colleagues to be able to emotionally support each other. An important aspect to this is to also provide religious and spiritual support to the healthcare staff (and patients) upon request. Evidence supports improvement in overall well-being and a protective benefit against burnout with religious and spiritual beliefs in healthcare providers. As quite aptly pointed out by other seasoned authors; based on decades of experience, commonality of common sense has been a declining asset in our current set up of medical practice, whether it has a component moral decline associated with it remains debatable. Daily physician care by the physicians themselves and peers is an aspect that needs to be highlighted and inculcated in our medical practice. This aspect of psychological safety (in addition to physical safety) in work place of practicing physicians is rarely discussed and the results are tangible, indicated by high burnout rates and poor sense of accomplishment. To make matters worse we often shy away from open discussions regarding the issue.
2. Lal A, Tharyan A, Tharyan P. The prevalence, determinants and the role of empathy and religious or spiritual beliefs on job stress, job satisfaction, coping, burnout, and mental health in medical and surgical faculty of a teaching hospital: A cross-sectional survey. La Revue de medecine interne. 2020. (Ahead of print), DOI: 10.1016/j.revmed.2019.12.005
3. Alpert JS. Common Sense and Medical Practice. Am J Med. 2019;132(11):1249-50.
4. Lal A, Mishra AK, Thapa SS. Teamwork in Medicine. The New England journal of medicine. 2019;380(23):2281.
5. Freytag J, Stroben F, Hautz WE, Eisenmann D, Kammer JE. Improving patient safety through better teamwork: how effective are different methods of simulation debriefing? Protocol for a pragmatic, prospective and randomised study. BMJ Open. 2017;7(6):e015977.