Emergency medical providers and rescue teams can be exposed to extraordinary amounts of workplace stress. Our “office” is often filled with emotionally-charged, high-stress situations associated with fear, pain, suffering and death.
The mental and physical demands of challenging work conditions can have negative effects on all members of the team. Without appropriate support in place, this has the ability to significantly affect our personal and organisational wellbeing, and therefore our ability to provide early, safe, optimal patient care. Additionally, workplaces that prioritise mental health have been shown to have better engagement, reduced absenteeism, higher productivity, greater morale, higher job satisfaction and - within health organisations - enhanced patient outcomes.
It is not always possible to remove or modify our industry stressors (we do not have control over the situations our patients find themselves in). Therefore, it is crucial that we provide our people with the tools they need to build resilience and nurture wellness at both individual and organisational levels.
To address the needs of our organisation Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust’s Wellbeing and Resilience initiative was developed.
In December 2018, Dr. Louise Park was appointed as the Clinical Lead for Wellness and Resilience.
This was followed by the development of a Wellness Working Group, comprised of members representing all disciplines within ARHT.