- Posted Wednesday October 27, 2021
You’d be forgiven for finding it a little difficult to get into the spirit of things this Halloween. This year has felt to many like a constant nightmare, each week bring a new horror story about the battle with Covid, or an unwelcome fright about primary care funding or regulation.
But a sense of humour can be one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal when it comes to dis-spell-ing (excuse the pun) bad feelings and low mood. Taking some time to switch off from these everyday pressures and get into the Halloween spirit could be more important than ever. So make sure you’re well ahead of the carve when it comes to pumpkins, make yourself simply eerie-sistible in your Halloween costume, and have a read through our list of things to remember below for making this Halloween as fright-free as possible in your practice:
- Avoid taking risks to get things done: when we’re all so pushed to our limits, we often take it upon ourselves to try to help everyone, despite the risks that may pose. Whether it’s taking patients to hospital ourselves, or saying yes to that extra bit of overtime we really can’t manage, be careful not to “do the wrong thing for the right reasons”. Staying safe and sticking to guidelines might be hard but it helps everyone in the long run.
- Remember to try and be emotionally intelligent: at the moment, the pressure everyone is experiencing is intense, (not that we’re ever not under pressure!) and it’s easy for minor disagreements or behavioural issues to explode into major problems. If we all take a few seconds to think before we speak, and to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, it can help dial things down and promote a calmer, more productive environment.
- Make sure you have clear policies in place: especially important for topical issues like abusive behaviour and the complaints procedure in your practice. Policies are not everyone’s favourite area of the job and it often seems like there are policies for every small thing, but in many areas of practice life they keep us safe, especially when something goes wrong. The FPM Policy library has hundreds of policies accessible to members and is constantly being updated.
- Keep up to date with what’s going on: the FPM weekly bulletin is a great place to hear news about funding and legislation, as well as our Practice of the Month stories, surveys, HR case studies, and our much-loved Secret Diary of a PM.
- Continue promoting masks and other healthy choices: (and we don’t mean Halloween masks…) This will help to curb the spread of Covid and ensure people feel as safe as possible when coming into the surgery in person. The BMA have issued guidance on reducing infection risks in healthcare settings. Getting more exercise can also help both our physical and mental wellbeing, as can practicing mindfulness.
As this year draws to a close, it’s scary to think that 2022 will be here soon, bringing its own challenges but also many new opportunities. Maybe next year things will ease up a little, but then again, maybe that’s just witch-ful thinking.
If you need something to ward off the evil spirits—a policy from the FPM policy library, a Thornfields training session, or advice from our friendly HR advisor for members—then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 240 4010. From all of us at FPM Group, happy Halloween!