Well-being and uncertainty in health care practice

Riya E. George*, Wendy A. Lowe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Well-being and uncertainty are intimately related, although less easily defined from a health care perspective. Uncertainty is intrinsic to both the science and practice of health care, and dealing with uncertainty can bring feelings of stress, avoidance and resistance, all of which are detrimental to an individual's well-being. Context: Contrary to the majority of the literature, which suggests promoting resilience as a way to improve health care professionals’ well-being, our paper argues that a better understanding of the relationship between well-being and uncertainty can support health care professionals in managing the complexity of everyday clinical interactions. Innovation: Various strategies and educational exercises around being comfortable in not knowing, preserving uncertainty through effective communication and the use of reflective silence are discussed to support clinical educators in recognising the impact of uncertainty on individual well-being. The relationship between uncertainty and well-being is poorly understood and vaguely defined …. Implications: Our paper calls for a broader understanding of the term well-being, recognising the interplay between individual and environmental factors that contribute to maintaining our well-being. The recommended strategies and exercises can be considered in faculty member development sessions and used to promote the incorporation of curriculum initiatives in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Teacher
Volume16
Issue number4
Early online date11 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

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