We do not have armies fighting COVID—we have deeply committed, courageous public health workers unprepared for the scope and intensity of the response and its traumatic impact on their lives. For the last six months, I have sat in weekly healing circles with them, nurses and epidemiologists and leaders. The simple clarity of the circle method has been profoundly helpful in allowing these exhausted people space to return to the present moment, to feel what they feel, and to emerge from isolation into the matrix of shared burden and care for each other. They don’t need an expert; they need each other, and a path to speak honestly and listen with compassion and curiosity.
Sean Fitzpatrick, PhD, LPC, executive director of The Jung Center |
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare workers labored in challenging environments. Now, the complexity of responding to the pandemic has added many new dilemmas: fears about infection for self and loved ones, concerns about access to medical supplies and personal protection, increased workload demands and, most important, witnessing the intense suffering of others, including patients, families, and fellow staff.
How does one hold the entirety of this? For many, a key is to gather with a circle of companions who understand our struggle and share our strong intention to find healing.
Healing circles for healthcare professionals
We invite you to join a circle for healthcare professionals. For a time, leave behind the burden and difficulties of your external world, make space for yourself, and come together with others to share your concerns and struggles—and find hope.
These circles are ongoing and most are limited to 10 participants. Although circles are free, donations are gratefully accepted.
Supporting Healthcare 2: Caring for professionals
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Supporting Healthcare 6: Caring for professionals
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, there were faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country, limiting student capacity. Amid the ongoing COVID pandemic and the complexity of the response to the healthcare crisis, the need for professional registered nurses continues to grow. The pipeline for new registered nurses remains strained, amplified by increased faculty shortages at schools of nursing. With climbing faculty age, a wave of retirements is expected over the next decade. Higher compensation in clinical and private-sector settings is luring current and potential nurse educators away from teaching, and master’s and doctoral programs in nursing are not producing a large enough pool of potential nurse educators to meet the demand. What’s often not quantified is the extent of burnout in nursing faculty related to workforce stressors, difficulty in finding clinical placement for students, large class sizes, concern about readiness and preparedness of new nurses, and an absence of compassion and caring in the work environment.
How does one hold the entirety of this? We welcome healthcare faculty, not just school of nursing faculty, to gather with a circle of companions where deep listening, self-reflection, and attentive accompaniment can expand one’s capacity for healing and well-being.
Reflections from our community
What people say
Gathering in community reminded us of the power of the circle and helped us regain a sense of self and a renewed passion for our beloved nursing profession.
Learning the structure and premise of healing circles has helped me, as a nurse practitioner, listen to and encourage the inner wisdom and strength of the patients I serve.
What happened in the first circle was nothing less than amazing. The invitation to share from the heart created an energy in the circle that touched the hearts of all of us.
Please contact us if you have any questions about this circle.
Healing circles are groups of peers who support one another through deep listening and compassion. Circle participants abide by agreements, including agreements around confidentiality. The volunteers who host healing circles do not provide medical or psychotherapeutic advice or treatment. Participation in a healing circle does not replace the care provided by a qualified healthcare professional.
Help us plan new circles
As we plan new healing circles for healthcare professionals, it would help us to know what days and times work best for you.
If you don’t see an available healing circle that fits your schedule, please fill out and submit this form.