When you’re stuck for work, you’ll need a solution.
And for some, that means a new, unconventional approach to medicine.
In a recent survey, 43 per cent of workers reported feeling stressed and overworked.
It’s an issue that is likely to grow more acute as Australia’s healthcare workforce grows, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicting a workforce shortage of 8 per cent by 2020.
As a result, we need to think beyond the conventional medicine approach to the underlying cause of this stress and overwork, according to Dr Katherine O’Connor.
“If you look at the health systems around the world, most countries have policies that provide some type of healthcare to people when they are in need,” she said.
But what does that mean?
“When you look for ways to help, people often think of medication.
But if you look closer, it is not always medication that can help.”
It is really about finding new ways to look at healthcare.
You can look at how we provide healthcare to patients.
It’s also looking at how you work with patients to improve their wellbeing.
“So you need to be thinking differently.”
Dr O’Brien has conducted her own research into how to make this change and has developed a toolkit to help healthcare workers identify, address and reduce the stress that comes with their job.
She has also designed a website, ‘The Doctor’s Workbook’, which outlines the ways in which healthcare professionals can work with their patients and encourage them to focus on the things that are best for them.
While the website is free to use, it also offers a tool kit, which includes resources, ideas and exercises to help you work through your own personalisation and self-management challenges.
Dr O’ton’s work has helped her to build a community around the use of medicine to improve wellbeing.
Dr OConnor said the most important thing is that everyone involved is thinking of a better future.
For example, she has set up a Facebook group for healthcare workers to share their experiences of work stress.
So far, she said, there has been a big response from healthcare professionals.
“The people that I have spoken to about this are very positive and happy to see a new approach to healthcare,” she explained.
When I speak to people who are currently in their 20s and 30s and have been through this, it’s not something they’ve ever experienced before and I have been really blown away by their stories.
The support from their peers, colleagues and family members has also been hugely encouraging.
I have also heard from many people that they’re actually really happy that they are going into medicine at all.
That is something that I would like to see more of in the future, she added.
With the increasing number of jobs that will require a medical degree, she hopes the work experience and lifestyle changes she has introduced will help to encourage people to become more engaged in healthcare.
“In the long run, this is something we can all be very proud of,” she concluded.