Despite the pandemic's continued grip over our public health system and our overall lives, most have made the determination that it is indeed time to move forward and establish a new understanding of how to coexist with the COVID-19 virus. But how can we grow from the past two years, instead of giving in to the instinct to revert to the way things used to be – keeping what we’ve improved, and evolving the parts that no longer fit?
Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a concept that defines how some might evolve after going through a traumatic experience. When someone experiences PTG, they “develop new understandings of themselves, the world they live in, how to relate to other people, the kind of future they might have and a better understanding of how to live life," explains this article from the American Psychological Association.
As we move forward, it’s important to pause and reflect on the past two years to decide what we take, and what we leave. Consider adopting a “yes, and…” approach.
Yes, we should continue down the path of:
- redefining the professional landscape
- creating new methods of collaboration
- prioritizing access to healthcare in the virtual world
- shifting toward a new concept of work/life balance
And, we should prioritize repairing things like:
the conditions leading to healthcare burnout
Resiliency, or in this case, post-traumatic growth, does not minimize the experiences or severity of what has happened in our most recent lives. It shows us how we can emerge from adversity through the important process of grieving the pre-pandemic world. Resiliency is a learned quality that allows us to be knocked down by life, then come back even stronger. Can the current pandemic set the stage for change that creates a better future–giving the healthcare industry the chance to come back stronger, smarter and more compassionate? This is a question that many continue to explore as we all face re-introduction back into the offices we left behind.
As new realities take the place of old habits, roles and strategies, we must evolve and innovate to allow for these new ways to be embraced. As healthcare marketers, we have a definitive role in what the future looks like for the industry–retaining the best of our somewhat-forced evolution and mending the cracks that drastically need our attention.