Well-Being is Well-Meaning
Well-Being Sounds Nice.
Evidence shows that employees who participate in Wellness/Well-Being programs have reduced lifestyle diseases, reduced stress, and improved overall well-being [1,2,3].
You might also find Wellness topics on the interwebs, but when you read the advice and suggestions you quickly realize that Well-Being is Well-Meaning but translates poorly to EMS life!
Common advice given in Wellness/Well-Being:
- Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning
- Go for a walk on your lunch break
- Find a quiet space where you can de-stress and process your emotions
- Talk about your difficult day with your spouse
- Working out first thing in the morning is the most beneficial
EMS be like…
EMS is a complex profession. There are many obstacles that are not accounted for in most Wellness/Well-Being programs. We don’t fit into the “mold” of the average employee who works in an office M-F 9-5.
But, our industry desperately needs help.
According to the last Crew Care report :
50% of respondents are obese based on BMI (which is higer than the US average)
82% said they wanted to lose weight
77% get less than 7-9 hours of sleep per night
73% feel burnt out and exhausted
26% use ETOH to cope with stress (compared to 16% US average)
32% use food to manage stress
32% report fair and poor mental health
41% said their agency did not have a Wellness program
18% said they didn’t know if their agency had a wellness program
My guess is that these numbers don’t shock you.
We go a mile or two deep on all the problems/obstacles we have, and only an inch deep on the solution. It’s time to start focusing on solutions that work for us and our unique profession.
My goal is to bring Well-Being to our industry in a way that is relevant and useful. To do that, I will focus on the six pillars of EMS Well-Being depicted from the image below.
We are in this industry because we want to help people, but in doing that it should not cost us our own health and wellness.
Stay tuned for my next blog where I will discuss “On The Job Eating”….what the problems, obstacles, and solutions are!
Be Well EMS.
1.Stress reduction from workplace wellness program
2. Workplace Wellness program benefits
3.Effect of a Professional Coaching intervention on the Well-Being and distress of Physicians
4. Crew Care Report; Anderson MK, & Butler DG. ImageTrend Clinical & Research Services.
Health of Our Emergency Responders: A CrewCare Report. Vol. 1 (2019).
Retrieved from www.Imagetrend.com/CrewCareReport