By: Dr.Ashwini M.Madawana , Malaysia
In a recent study, 74% of doctors said they saw burnout in others, and over half said their workload had harmed their mental health (Carpenter, 2019). Doctors commit suicide at twice the rate of the general population. Concerns about accessibility, caseload, patient volume, and litigation have increased medical professionals’ stress levels over the last half-century. Not to mention third-party documentation systems, insurance companies, and their patients’ struggles can be challenging to deal with if they do not perform well. Physicians need more help than ever managing their mental health, but the same stigmas exist in the medical profession. Doctors dread filling out forms that ask if they have a mental illness. It is a system that encourages people to hide their mental health issues due to the risks of being honest. The unspoken assumption between doctors and patients is that patients represent illness, whereas doctors represent health and immortality.
So, how can we assist doctors in breaking free from the shackles of stigma?
Specialist mental health services for doctors, as advocated by the British Medical Association, could be a key to unlocking the oxygen masks for doctors who are suffocated by stigmas. The service runs on a non-profit basis, with fees varying depending on the doctor’s grade and circumstances. A health practitioner support group, such as the NHS Practitioner Health, founded in 2008, helps doctors and dentists struggling with mental health or addiction issues significantly if they are interfering with their work. It is a self-referral service. It is provided to health professionals by health professionals who specialize in mental health support. Some of the few helplines that provide face-to-face counseling, a listening ear, or peer support groups for Doctors are Health for Health Professionals Wales, BMA Wellbeing Support Services, Psychiatrists’ Support Service, and RCS Surgeon to Surgeon. Occupational Health Practitioners, for example, can be helpful and help in allowing a doctor to be patient by being their patient as they create a trustable relationship together.
It is becoming increasingly clear that doctors do not make suitable patients and may require ‘permission’ to be ill, particularly mental health issues. Doctors are not equipped with an immunity shield to fight mental illness; in fact, doctors have higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general population, and female doctors, in particular, have significantly higher suicide rates than the general population. Doctors are advised to “put patients first,” which means acknowledging situations in which they cannot provide the level of care they require, such as exhaustion or illness. Instead, Doctors should be mindful of their health and how it may affect the patients. They should “act without delay” if they suspect they or a colleague endanger patients’ safety. In most cases, this means telling them to take a break, leave the office, and seek help.
Doctors are a valuable and costly resource for society, and their absence due to preventable illness is a waste to the health service, a loss to patients, a strain on colleagues, and a disruption to individual careers. Avoidable causes of illness in the system doctors work must be addressed, and doctors must have timely access to confidential assistance. Perhaps it is time, to be honest with patients and accept that being a good and safe doctor means letting go of the exclusive and somewhat idealized medical role that requires us to serve patients come rain or shine. Instead, we should take a more mature role that includes self-care and balancing the needs of doctors with the demands of patients. When caring for caregivers, I believe employers and policymakers should take a Primum Non Nocere approach.
Harper Harrison is a reporter for The Hear UP. Harper got an internship at the NPR and worked as a reporter and producer. harper has also worked as a reporter for the Medium. Harper covers health and science for The Hear UP.
Solar Energy Innovation: Unleashing The Potential Beyond Power Generation
Solar energy has long been recognized as a clean and renewable source of power generation. However, its potential extends far beyond electricity production. Through innovative applications, solar panels are driving breakthroughs in various sectors, revolutionizing transportation, water desalination, and even powering everyday gadgets. This article explores the diverse and exciting realm of solar energy innovation, highlighting its transformative impact on our lives and the environment.
1. Solar-Powered Transportation:
Solar panels are propelling the transportation sector into a greener future. Solar-powered electric vehicles (EVs) are emerging as a promising solution to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Solar cells integrated into the roofs and bodies of EVs harness sunlight, supplementing the vehicle’s battery charging process. This technology extends the vehicle’s range, reduces charging requirements, and ultimately decreases carbon emissions. Solar-powered charging stations are also being deployed to provide clean energy for electric cars, making long-distance travel more sustainable and accessible.
2. Solar Desalination:
Water scarcity is a pressing global issue, particularly in arid regions. Solar desalination harnesses the power of the sun to convert seawater or brackish water into fresh water. Solar stills, using solar panels, employ evaporation and condensation processes to separate water from impurities, producing clean drinking water. This innovation offers a sustainable solution to water scarcity, reducing reliance on energy-intensive desalination methods and decreasing the strain on freshwater sources.
3. Solar-Powered Gadgets:
Solar panels are powering an array of gadgets, enabling us to harness solar energy in our daily lives. Solar-powered chargers for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, provide a convenient and environmentally friendly charging option on the go. Solar-powered outdoor lights illuminate pathways and gardens without the need for wiring or electricity. Additionally, solar-powered backpacks equipped with solar panels can charge devices while hiking or traveling, enhancing convenience and reducing reliance on traditional charging methods.
4. Solar-Powered Agriculture:
Solar energy is transforming the agricultural sector, offering sustainable solutions to power farming operations. Solar-powered irrigation systems utilize solar panels to generate electricity for pumps, reducing reliance on fossil fuel-powered alternatives. These systems are cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and enable farmers to irrigate their fields even in remote locations. Solar-powered greenhouse operations are also gaining popularity, providing optimal conditions for crop growth while minimizing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
5. Solar-Powered Air Conditioning:
Traditional air conditioning systems are energy-intensive and contribute to carbon emissions. However, solar-powered air conditioning presents an innovative solution. Photovoltaic thermal hybrid collectors utilize solar panels to generate both electricity and heat, which can then be used for cooling purposes. These systems reduce electricity consumption, lower operating costs, and offer a sustainable alternative for temperature control in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
6. Solar-Powered Disaster Relief:
Solar energy plays a crucial role in disaster relief efforts, providing power in areas where the electrical grid is damaged or nonexistent. Portable solar panels and solar-powered generators offer immediate access to electricity for emergency communication, medical equipment, and lighting. These innovative solutions enhance the effectiveness of relief operations, ensuring critical services are available during challenging times.
7. Solar-Powered Water Heating:
Solar thermal technology utilizes solar panels to heat water for domestic and industrial use. Solar water heaters are becoming increasingly popular, offering an energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional water heating systems. These systems reduce reliance on fossil fuels, lower energy bills, and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Solar energy innovation is expanding the horizons of what is possible with solar panels beyond electricity generation. From powering transportation to desalinating water, and from charging gadgets to revolutionizing agriculture, solar panels are revolutionizing multiple sectors and driving sustainable solutions. As technological advancements continue, solar energy will become increasingly accessible, efficient, and integrated into our daily lives. By embracing solar energy innovation, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future, benefiting both our planet and future generations.
Kenneth is a proud native of sydney, born and raised there. However, he pursued his education abroad and studied in Australia. Kenneth has worked as a journalist for almost a decade, making valuable contributions to prominent publications such as Yahoo News and The Verge. Currently, he serves as a journalist for The Hear Up, where he focuses on covering climate and science news. You can reach Kenneth at [email protected].