St. Luke Society Korea recently held a seminar on the topic of exhaustion in medical practitioners, often referred to as burnout. A guest shared an approach to this from a Christian perspective.
This was the fellowship's seventh Christian Medical Leadership Seminar. It was held at a Korea university in Seoul. The seminar included a speaker who is a university professor with counseling and pastoral ministry experience.
Below is a brief summary of the talk.
A sense of identity needed among hospital staff is to be those who can give care while recognizing human limitations for saving and curing people. There are times people's suffering is forgotten in hospitals. Healing has been replaced by treatments and caring has been replaced by management.
God moved forward with the Exodus when Israelites were moaning and in suffering. God observes us before we pray. Care begins by looking at someone, noting small changes and giving them feedback. People who are weak and suffering need more attention. If you give your heart to you patient, this becomes your cross and you will suffer. When hearing stories about people who suffer, the damage I get matches how much sympathy I have.
Healthcare workers also undergo a secondary trauma. But only a wounded person can truly heal a wounded person. Christians are capable of interpreting the present situation faithfully with the power God which has given to us.
Ways suggested to overcome the problem of burnout included accepting and overcoming my shame, taking care of my body and the heart, thinking that strength comes from God and establishing a loving relationship, imagining hope in the moments of suffering, having courage to recognize my inferiority and not giving up until there is success.