Being Well in Difficult Times - Gordon

Gordon* is a thirty something rural proceduralist GP. Gordon contributed to the national guidelines for the management of COVID-19. Would being in his shoes change your thinking about the pandemic?

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It’s always helpful to hear how other people cope.  Over the next few weeks we are dedicating the Being Well blog to a series called Being Well in Difficult Times.  We asked a range of health professionals 3 big questions to see if there was anything we could learn from them 

Gordon, what are your biggest concerns about the pandemic? 

  • The fragility of rural medical workforce and resources to handle the pandemic.
  • Having insufficient support from hospital administration to prepare for the pandemic.
  • Having to shoulder too much clinical responsibilities to fight the pandemic, and not being able to provide enough to protect the community and as a consequence having to make tough ethical decisions, and/or falling ill yourself.  
  • Being cut off from usual social support and social isolation due to living rurally.

How are you managing your anxiety about these things? 

  • Social and professional support are important to allay these anxieties and develop strategies to tackle the pandemic in a coordinated meaningful way. This is not easy in isolated rural towns.
  • Vivacious use of online communication tools helps to stay in touch socially. 
  • Incessant quest to equip oneself with more knowledge about the pandemic is paramount in ensuring you have what it takes to shape the course of preparation in your organisation. 
  • Attending local, regional and state-wide online meetings to understand the situation with other locations and sharing information has helped.
  •  Appropriate use of social media has been helpful but it can also be detrimental.
  • Trying to accept a new reality and that it is not forever and adjusting expectations accordingly.
  • Recognising that everybody else is more or less in the same situation, and that you are probably in a significantly better position than others.

 Do you think the experience of this little bit of history will make a difference to you or your plans for the future?

  •  This experience has made us become aware about how critically important public health and infectious control are in health care and our lives. The strategic planning around the pandemic will only serve to help future public health crisis, in fact, it has helped immensely reshape the approach to our day-to-day clinical care.

*Not his real name

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Dr. Phoebe Holdenson Kimura

Phoebe is a GP working in Sydney who is passionate about promoting mental wellbeing and supporting GPs who have a special interest in Mental Health. With recent experience working in rural Far North Queensland and Cambodia, she is interested in rural and global perspectives on mental health.

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