Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Do You Think Health Care Workers Should Be Held to a Higher Standard For Their Health and Body Weight?

After reading this question on LinkedIn in the Corporate Wellness Group, I thought a resounding yes.  I mean if someone counsels others about health, they need to walk the walk.  There is scientific research showing that healthier doctors have better outcomes with their patients. 

My yes seemed a little self righteous when I thought about it.  Yes, there is evidence showing a better outcome for patients.  Plus, there is the issue of personal integrity to live the life you preach to others.  However, being judgmental doesn't really help anyone.  So, I would like to qualify my answer (I think it is the lawyer in me).

When a health care worker is healthy, it has a certain energy.  It appears they value health and their body, and they will value your health and body.  Further, what is in our surrounding environment directly influences our well-being.  The presence of a healthy healthcare professional will uplift and inspire which can go far beyond technical knowledge. Yet, we are all human with our own weaknesses and "should be doings."  If a healthcare professional who is not that healthy can express their personal struggles and reflect caring and compassion to the patient, the patient may feel supported to change.  The healthcare professional needs to express their struggles and their wins thereby showing the personal and individual commitment  needed to make real lifestyle changes, and how this is a life journey. It is the place we want to be.  The human healthcare professional can meet the patient where they are when they are ready to choose health. 

The process to change and the road to health is very individual.  Usually a person needs help to choose a healthier way, and they should choose a professional that can open them up to new possibilities.  Unfortunately, doctors today are too busy to guide a patient in a personal way beyond giving the information of what needs to be done.  A health coach or a good friend will help a patient map out the process to change that is best for them. 

So, it would be nice if healthcare workers were held to a higher standard of health and weight, but it would be nicer if they could help their patients choose and achieve a healthy and happy life.

Stay healthy & well,
Lisa

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