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Caring for the Carer - Are you in the 58% of healthcare workers that are burnt out?

Caring for the Carer - Are you in the 58% of healt
Photo: Healthcare worker burnout
Associate Professor Natasha Smallwood from RMH conducted a survey of 10,000 Healthcare workers across Australia, with 61% of workers reporting anxiety, 58% being burnt out, and 28% reporting depression.

2020 revealed just how critical healthcare professionals are to a functioning society, and the strain experienced by our front-liners. In response to this, there is a growing need to consider caring for the carer, an overlooked form of care beyond simply caring for the patient.

How we take care of ourselves as we serve others is crucial to keeping ourselves mentally well whilst we meet the suffering of others.

Care for the carer falls under the field of study “Health and Social Wellbeing”, equipping healthcare professionals with mental health and wellbeing approaches and tools that help protect their minds and bodies whilst caring for others.
In ‘good’ times, we may not feel the need to practice such techniques, but when we do, these techniques have proven to reduce burnout, stress, and increase happiness for carers during ‘bad’ times:

Mindfulness in healthcare:

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing attention to the present moment in a kind and gentle way.

Mindfulness encourages individuals to tune into their needs in the moment and to consider what will serve in meeting these needs and the needs of others.

Compassion in healthcare:

Compassion encourages individuals to connect with a sense of common humanity and respond from a place of wisdom and genuine care.

Self-compassion gives professionals the capacity to ground themselves when overwhelmed, connect with their motivation and take steps to alleviate distress.

Holistic health education:

Learning about wellbeing and health from a holistic perspective, which includes the body and the mind, encourages greater resilience and connection with self and others.

Good nutrition, movement, body-based awareness, and tools emerging from the field of positive psychology can help reduce the long-term effects of stress and burnout.

Caring for yourself is just as important as caring for patients, and has a direct impact on the quality of the care you can offer.

By practising mindfulness, self-compassion, and learning more about how to take care of our bodies and minds, the more resilient and effective we become in both our work and our personal lives.

The Nan Tien Institute is a not-for-profit government accredited higher education provider offering Health professionals courses in health and wellbeing. For any enquiries, please email: or visit


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