By Barbra Backus, Phil Dobson, Noortje Dorscheidt & Benjamin Gerretsen


Are you feeling emotionally exhausted by the ongoing pandemic?

Do you find it hard to switch off after your shifts, and difficult to fall asleep?

If you’re feeling a little burned out, you are certainly not alone.

Critical Care workers have a notoriously high-risk for developing burnout, despite being a generally resilient group of health care workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the amount of health care workers suffering from exhaustion and subsequent burnout symptoms.

Health care workers, known for their enormous dedication towards patients and their work, are challenged under the current circumstances to choose between carrying out their duties as caregivers, and protecting themselves and their loved ones.

Recent surveys indicate that the majority of you already experience increased stress and workload, anxiety, fear of losing patients and concern about personal or family safety due to COVID-19.

Healthcare workers on the edge of burnout, who may be suffering from insufficient sleep, an inability to switch off, a lack of energy and an increased emotional burden have a decreased capability of taking care of patients, and are less capable of caring for themselves.

Unfortunately, among many, it is not generally ‘accepted’ to admit feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted or overburdened.

Many just soldier on and believe it is part of their job and responsibility to care for others before themselves The health care system as whole has become increasingly vulnerable at a time when it is more vital than it has been in years.


How to turn the tide

Without interference, the COVID-19 pandemic will cause a second pandemic of physicians with burnout.

Now is the time to invest in the clinician workforce in order to decrease physical and emotional harm to health care workers. In the race to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we must not neglect to care for those who care for us all.

Although there is already a wealth of data and resources focusing on resilience and mindfulness, not many of them are dedicated to those working in emergency medicine and critical care.

We therefore aimed to produce a neat, free and easily accessible library of short videos, audio and text resources that will offer practical tips, techniques and strategies to help health professionals recover their resilience, manage stress, improve their sleep and maintain their mental health and well-being.

The content we’ve created is for each of you; doctors, nurses, supporting staff, paramedics and volunteers.

We ask you to please share the videos broadly in your institution, with all your colleagues or anyone else you think might benefit from it.

And, perhaps most importantly, to encourage other clinicians to speak freely about the stressors they are facing and to advocate for their own health as well as that of their patients.

Welcome to the Lab

Videos from the Lab