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Reversing the Impact of Emotional Exhaustion in Healthcare – Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast

February 10, 2022

Katrina Coleman is back on our Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) partners’ Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast this week.

Much like when she joined us back in November for her encouraging interview with us about gratitude, today’s episode is another memorable show. This time we cover emotional exhaustion and its impact on healthcare workers throughout the world.

Katrina will leave listeners with some reasons for optimism as this interview has many important nuggets about reversing emotional exhaustion.

“Practice self-compassion and be gracious with yourself,” she said. “Emotional exhaustion can be reversed and you can thrive again, but it won’t be reversed without action on your part.”

Katrina is a Leadership and Engagement Strategist with Maryland Healthcare Education Institute (MHEI) in Elkridge, Md. She has been with MHEI for more than a decade.

“My ‘why’ is about building the capacity for courage, confidence, and competence,” she said.

We know that with the Great Resignation in healthcare and the pandemic’s relentless impact on staffing, there are many reasons to take signs of an emotionally exhausted individual seriously.

As Katrina discusses with us on today’s interview, it is crucial that we identify the early signs of emotional exhaustion so we can do our best to mitigate the consequences.

Emotional exhaustion can be defined as a state of feeling worn out and drained of all emotion. As Katrina describes, it is a result of accumulated stress from both personal and work life.

“Emotional exhaustion is one of the signs of burnout,” Katrina said.

As we learn on today’s show, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout as having three different dimensions and the very first dimension is emotional exhaustion. It is a key to burnout, and it has to be addressed in order to prevent our healthcare workers from feeling “trapped.”

Simply said, emotional exhaustion is an early indicator that our mental wellness is heading in the wrong direction. The chronic stress associated with being emotionally exhausted can also affect physical health. We are grateful for Katrina stopping by our podcast to help us learn more about countering it.

Katrina has been a part of this podcast three times after today’s interview. If you missed her previous episodes with us, please be sure to check out:

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Listen now to this episode in its entirety: