In this reflective paper I investigated the concept of resilience not only from the standpoint of novelty and notoriously difficult to pin down not only in measurement (Vanhove, Herian, Perez, Harms & Lester, 2016) but in definition (Harm & Wood, 2016). It is important to look at it as a complex phenomenon derived from multileveled interaction among cultural, genetic, demographic, social, developmental variables (Southwick & Charney, 2012). For the purpose of this inquiry I did argue that most importantly from nursing point of view resilience it is a learnable and adaptable skill allowing people to bounce back when they face adversity, conflict, failure and take responsibility for their own action (Imani, Kermanshahi, Vanaki amd Kazemnejad Lili, 2018). American Psychological Association (2014) defined resilience as adapting process when facing stress, adversity, trauma or tragedy. This particular assignment prompted me to challenge my bias and my current knowledge about the ‘buzz word’ in relation to healthcare setting as resilience could be used successfully as a predictor of mental health (Narender & Joshi, 2016).
When conducting research in field of resilience I needed to realise that the research in this sphere is generous and diverse; for example, neuropsychology provided striking evidence for the neuroanatomical inheritance, people with more superior resilience skill have larger lateral prefrontal cortex (Shaw, 2016). From socio-educational stand point Joslyn (2015) reported that foundation of resilience is set up in childhood by focusing on positive and cognitively developed skills allowing navigating effectively through life challenges and described as key factor for successful transition in life. This way of exploring of resilience goes in line with early resilience‐based approach suggested by Ang, Uthaman, Ayre, Lim and Lopez (2019) and suggesting to look at the resilience as the buffer and protective factor when facing workforce stress and improvement of job satisfaction not only for nurses.
I was positively encouraged by the generosity of current up to date research providing evidence that resilience helps nurses effectively to reduce the effects of stress and burnout. I struggled to see embedded psychological positive and constructive thinking into everyday practice which was one of my major concerns in terms of bridging the gap between theory and practice. It was suggested that it is one of the most effective way to build resilient traits among health care professionals is by providing support and encouragement with courses or training allowing the skills to be build and most importantly stop people from leaving the care industry (Yu, Raphael, Mackay, Smith & King, 2019). In different research resilience was considered responsible for restoring emotional equilibrium, by intelligent adaptation to challenges of the workplace and positively predicting employee performance and well-being (Nielsen et al., 2017).
Resilience played moderate and positive role on psychological health and work related burn out (García-Izquierdo, Meseguer de Pedro, Ríos-Risquez & Sánchez, 2018), because resources as resilience help to cope better with detrimental impact of stressful job by buffering the negative influence on health (Bakker & Demerouti, 2017). Nurses who mastered the skills of resilience were able to maintain assertiveness at work with good sense of humour, positive outlook and ability to self-regulate (Cope, Jones & Hendricks, 2016). As suggested by Lin et al. (2018) dissatisfaction with the job within the nursing background is not a new one but in the recent years become more alarming as there is dangerously high turnover of newly qualified nurses and ageing population globally. They recommended that the changes improving the nursing experience should come from the institutional and human resources enterprise and should aim for comprehensive support system to enrich professional growth and commitment, work related enthusiasm, job satisfaction, solidarity and cohesion (Lin et al., 2018).
From my personal experience an individual’s working within healthcare are essentially more vulnerable to experience distress, challenge their status quo, and test their resilience skill because they are at the front line and facing people who suffer from crisis manifesting in physical, emotional and mental symptoms. Following the period of few months of observation of nurses during my practical aspect of psychology in practice one interesting pattern emerged; individuals who master effectively resilience are less likely to experience of distress and work related burnout which goes in line with research conducted by Rivard and Brown (2019). Why this founding was so important to me? This gave me the essential insight and better understanding the success or failure in relation to resilience. As a result, I strongly believe it is important to focus more energy on teaching resilience skills as it is kind of not possible to change the caring nature of healthcare professionals that underpins the act of care giving.
When reflecting on the importance of resilience within the healthcare setting I needed to understand that in 21st century places like hospitals are managed as businesses; environment where unfortunately employees are not perceived in practice as most valuable part of the business. However, this finding was not consistent when looking among different wards; in the end of the day it is about the human factor, managerial skills and knowledge which makes such a difference not only on the morale of the team, but reflecting positively on job satisfaction, and resilience skills. In terms of criticism of the current up to date EBP and research about resilience it is worth to notice that most of the investigated populations were homogenous and contextual to the cultural norms of the society and therefore the findings represent a serious threat for the generalizability.