I’m Okay : My Perspective on Resilience
“Chris, the Patient Safety Authority would like you to write a perspective piece on resilience.”
“Are you sure you called the right person?”
If pressed, I would say that I have resilience. I think everyone that works in healthcare needs some degree of resilience. I have thrived in high-stress situations in my life. I have learned from my past experiences. Upon reflection, I felt good about sharing my thoughts on resilience by the time I sat down to dinner with my wife and daughters.
“Chris, how was your day at work?”
“It was good. I was asked to write a perspective about resilience.”
“Are you sure they were talking to you?”
This was not as upsetting as it could be. Not just because my wife had the same initial reaction I did, but because resilience does not mean being okay all the time. Resilience is defined as “the ability to adapt successfully in the face of trauma, adversity, tragedy, or significant threat.”1 Resilience does not mean that a person does not experience difficulties or stress; in fact, resilience requires a crisis or some form of distress. All of us have been in those situations, such as when responding to a code or trying to get a wireless printer to work. Most of the time we bounce back from them, although sometimes that is easier for one reason or another. Perhaps paradoxically, I’ve tended to bounce back much quicker following high-stakes code situations than after dealing with technology problems.
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