The pager, cell phone, monitor alarms, computers, and even your own thoughts are distractions that keep you busy while taking you away from the core of who you really are.
“In moments of silence, allow the distractions to float away leaving a void that can be filled with peace.”
Why is it so important to spend time in silence each day in medicine? Why now?
From the moment you walk through the door of the unit, the floor, or the clinic, physicians are ‘ON’. You are in demand.
You are the one everyone goes to for answers. You’re expected to have the answer even when it’s not your area of expertise. When you don’t have the answer, you’re expected to find it. And this is just from your team.
Your patients and their families, live and virtual, have their own set of demands on you. After seeing patients there are labs and test results to review and follow-up calls to make.
When a physician is ‘ON’ for a shift, she or he is ‘ON’. There is no stopping.
Most physicians accept that this is the way it is. We barrel ahead like a train on the tracks moving from station to station until the shift is over and the work is done. We hope and pray we won’t get derailed and can stay the course.
But we do get derailed.
We get derailed in the form of stress, overwhelm, no longer loving what we are called to do, and looking for an exit strategy.
We get derailed when already stressed clinicians are asked to give even more of themselves, whether it’s because of short staffing or an onslaught of critically ill patients during a pandemic.
We get derailed when life goes on personally and there is an expectation to show up at our best for our patients when we, too, are feeling vulnerable and need a good cry.
An exit strategy may not be what you need.
You need strategies that support you and love you on your journey in medicine.
Moments in silence is one such strategy that allows you to get off the loud, fast moving train for just a few moments and embrace the calm and peace that is found in the silence.
In the silence physicians can hear their inner voice that is compassionate, reassuring, and soothing.
In the silence physicians feel their heartbeat return to a regular rate and rhythm. They feel their lungs fill with air as fresh revitalizing oxygen is delivered to every cell of their body.
In the silence physicians remember to focus on the solution because we are never given a problem without a solution. The solution may be found in asking a patient a question in another way to get to that missing piece of information that unlocks the diagnosis. It may be found in an online search or a referral to a specialist. Or it may be found in your own knowledge base that you now have access to once the noise quiets.
In the silence physicians find peace.
Putting it in Practice:
This practice, along with others I share, is designed for moments in your day. With consistent use and practice they become your new way of being. Use the moments between patients to pause and embrace the silence. Pause outside the door of a patient room for just a few moments. Then resume your activities.
How does that feel?
What shifts or changes do you notice?
I’m excited to hear about your experience with this practice.