Empowering Hawai‘i’s Emerging Health Professionals through Education in Resilience

Julien-Chinn, Francie
Carpenter, Dee-Ann
Masuda, Camlyn
Austin Seabury, Aukahi
Sur, Dayna
Mau, Marjorie
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As a multi-disciplinary team, funded by Clinical Scholars, a national leadership program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), we brought together our areas of expertise to work to empower emerging health professionals (EHP’s). On our team we have two medical doctors, an endocrinologist and an Internal Medicine physician, a pharmacist, a psychologist, and a social worker. Our multidisciplinary team brought together our students to empower their abilities in several areas, including resilience, through training, mentoring, and modeling through a partnership with the Hawaii Homeless Outreach and Medical Education (H.O.M.E.) project. Due to COVID-19 the H.O.M.E. project was unable to work with patients in person for a period of time. We realized that this, combined with the stress the EHP’s were experiencing, was an opportunity to help empower our students through resiliency education. Thus the focus of this project is on empowering our EHP’s to build both resilience in themselves and in the houseless population they work with. Houselessness is a major health problem in Hawai‘i. In 2019, according to the Point-in-Time count, 48 out of every 10,000 individuals were experiencing homelessness in the state, one of the highest rates in the nation (Henry, et. al. 2019). Previous studies show homeless individuals have many other concerns compared to the majority of the population besides not having a home. Due to their difficult living situation, it is common for these individuals to lose their sense of self-efficacy as well as their identity (Buckner, Bassuk, & Zima, 1993). It is very common for homeless individuals to struggle to take care of their health on a daily basis. Healthcare professionals work in high stress environments which is naturally demanding both physically and emotionally. Professions involving human contact and quick decisions with weighty impacts are usually the most stressful (Koinis et al., 2015). The high level of stress healthcare professionals encounter can lead to burnout, staff turnover and absenteeism (Morse et al., 2012), as well as causing detrimental effects to patient care (Salyers et al., 2015). Resilience can increase motivation, help one persist when they are tired, and reduces the number of choices to make on a daily basis, which can prevent one from considering to resign from a taxing profession. Resilient people are able to cope and adapt to difficult situations which in turn result in maintaining a higher quality of life (Leppin et al., 2014). A resilient mindset allows one to have self-efficacy, a belief that they can change what is changeable and makes one persist in trying again after each failure. Healthcare professionals who are resilient not only have self-efficacy, but they are able to transmit that belief to their patients as well, which results in better patient outcomes. This study consisted of first, measuring EHP’s levels of resilience using the Connor-Davidson (CD) Resilience Scale, and second, measuring the efficacy of a resiliency training. This presentation will report on the findings from this study as well as a provide a description of the training module. In evaluating the training, we found that participants reported increased scores from pre-test to post-test in each domain measured. In examining the CD scale, we found a generally high level of resilience in our EHP’s, averaging 4.02 on a 5-point agreement scale. Our presentation will provide a descriptive breakdown of these data.
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