|SUE - a breast cancer survivor||
So often, being a member of the healthcare team we look at the caregiver and possible burnout as they are maintaining their life and helping to maintain the patient. Bills come, appointments and co-pays add up as well as treatments and more. While the caregiver is doing their routine jobs at work and home, they have also accumulated the patient's jobs as well. Now that also brings me to the patient and burnout. I was talking to a patient not long ago that had three different bouts with cancer and was weighing the pro's and con's of going through treatment one more time. There is also the primary healthcare team member to consider when we talk about burnout too. Yes, they are human too and push to keep the patient and family at it's best and to help with the family dynamics and deal with all of their frustration and blood work results, and pet scans and every other test that the patient is subjected to and the family waits in anticipation as well as everything else that is involved with a cancer diagnosis. The team works to get you to your optimal self and looks to keep you at your best with whatever means that are available. There are times that this amount of energy can be not only physically but mentally demanding for all parties involved. I laugh with patients but I also cry with them. I have found over the years that the best I can do for someone is to be genuine. We walk along side of patients through it all. Hearing the diagnosis of cancer is difficult at best but to have it recur is even harder and then to have acquired types of cancer, is devastating. We all work as a team including the family and patient and the healthcare team listens and supports and helps treat. Yes, we all have our good and bad days. Do I consider that burnout is possible, yes I am sure it is, but it is also a wake up call to take care of yourself and get the help you need. Communication is the best medicine when it comes to burnout. We all need a listening, compassionate ear at various times of our lives. Never think you are above a need for others to help you weather the storm. Ask for help and seek it out, we all need to look after each other. Listen and you will hear not only the patient, the family, but even for yourself if you are part of the healthcare team.