What Healthcare Providers Can Do When Facing Burnout

At the start of the fourth year of the coronavirus pandemic, it may seem that healthcare is no longer in crisis — but that is only because headlines are no longer reporting on it. So many healthcare providers like doctors and nurses became so overwhelmed at the height of the pandemic that they sought other employment opportunities, to the extent that now almost every region is suffering from a shortage of healthcare professionals. Though rates of COVID hospitalizations remain steady at a much lower rate than a couple years ago, remaining healthcare providers continue to experience higher rates of stress and burnout as a result of the higher workloads needed to cover persistent staffing shortages.

Unfortunately, many healthcare institutions can do little to relieve the added pressure of short staff, and few are striving to give providers the resources they need to manage their stress and burnout safely and effectively. Ultimately, the only way to end widespread burnout is with systemic changes to the healthcare system — but until then, here are a few tips for healthcare workers on the brink of burning out.

Know the Signs of Burnout

Burnout develops slowly, as a professional’s level of stress must remain high for a long period before burnout occurs. Thus, healthcare workers should have plenty of time to evaluate their mental health and make changes to their lifestyle before they suffer the serious ramifications of full-blown burnout.

The exact signs of imminent burnout can vary from person to person, but most people experience the following physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms as a result of chronic stress:

  • Racing heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Aches and pains around the body
  • Muscle tension
  • Exhaustion
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Digestive problems
  • Low libido
  • Frequent coughs or colds
  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Excessive alcohol or tobacco consumption
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Reckless gambling
  • Compulsive behaviors

When an individual has experienced chronic stress to the degree that burnout is imminent, they might experience the following:

  • Cynical or critical attitude at or toward work
  • Difficulty beginning work-related tasks
  • Impatience with coworkers and patients
  • Difficulty concentrating on work
  • Low or no satisfaction from completed jobs

Almost all healthcare workers are subjected to undue stress, but when that stress becomes unbearable, they need to take steps to prevent burnout — or recover from its initial stages — as quickly as possible.

Ask for Help From Supervisors and Colleagues

To ensure that harm does not befall a healthcare provider or their patients, they need to take some time away from the responsibilities causing them stress. To do this, professionals might talk to supervisors about reassigning duties in the workplace. Supervisors might be able to give a stressed worker some extra time off, reallocate responsibilities to other team members or hire additional staff to take on some of the workload. Stressed professionals might also communicate with colleagues about their circumstances to gain a little more support from their team.

Develop Strong and Healthy Routines

For many healthcare providers, their work is their life. After dedicating many years to study and practice, it makes sense that professionals in this field are so focused on their occupation. However, to prevent burnout, professionals also need to invest in healthy routines outside of work. Eating whole foods, exercising regularly, socializing and sleeping well are critical for a healthy mind and body, so professionals need to prioritize creating these routines to support them at work.

Often, healthcare administrators do not fully understand how their organizations are functioning day-to-day. Especially when business leaders have no experience providing healthcare, they might struggle to recognize the signs of an overworked staff. Thus, healthcare providers must learn to advocate for themselves with their management, which might involve working with administrators to improve policies and practices for everyone.

Consider Pivoting Into a Different Healthcare Role

Most healthcare providers feel passionate about their work, as they know that they are providing essential services to their community. However, if working directly with patients continues to cause high levels of stress and burnout, providers might consider pivoting into roles within healthcare administration. These jobs tend to have more regular schedules and less time-sensitive duties, which might help professionals develop a healthier work-life balance.

The novel coronavirus is not the only reason that healthcare providers are leaving the profession in droves; it merely highlighted the weakness of the healthcare system as it stands. Individual healthcare workers need to stand up for themselves to prevent the devastating effects of burnout — and they need to band together to fix the healthcare system for everyone.

What Will Your Nursing Career Look Like?

A nursing career is a way of life, not just a job.

Nursing is defined by the work ethic and dedication required to provide care to patients in the healthcare setting. It’s what makes you an invaluable asset to your organization; you’re providing a service that has lasting effects on individuals and society.

Nursing careers can be rewarding and challenging at different levels, depending on your interests, experience, or location.

There are many options available for personal development opportunities through clinical practice or through educational programs offered in communities across North America.

One of the best things to do for someone looking for nursing career advice is to attend nursing school.

The Evolution of Nursing Careers

Nursing schools provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become nurses.

This includes a variety of coursework in anatomy and physiology, biology, pharmacology, chemistry, psychology, and sociology.

The course load can be overwhelming for some students, but having a basic understanding of the human body will help create a foundation for clinical decision-making.

A nursing program could include one year of prerequisites and two or four years of nursing school. Depending on your school’s curriculum and your previous education (if any), this period of study could potentially last five years.

After completing the nursing program, students will be eligible to take a state licensure exam and can then start their career as an entry-level registered nurse (RN).

A crucial part of being in the healthcare profession is having strong communication skills.

This is where critical thinking comes into play.

RNs must constantly make decisions regarding patients based on their observations and judgments. This puts RNs in positions where they have to carefully consider the consequences of their actions and act quickly if something has gone wrong with the patient’s treatment plan.

Through experience, you’ll learn how to interpret symptoms, problems, and overall needs of patients while emphasizing safety practices.

What Do You Need to Consider When Choosing Your Career?

The first thing you need to have in place is solid mental preparation, which includes effective goal-setting, planning, and time management skills.

Another key component is being certain of what you want out of your life and your future career choices based on the information you’ve gathered during your research on nursing careers.

What Nursing Path to Choose

Choosing your nursing path is important to hone in on the career direction you should take.

What type of work environment best suits you?  Areas to consider include oncology, critical care, emergency room, labor and delivery, primary care, and many more.

Is there a specialty that you’re interested in? Here are a few to consider:

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

A nurse practitioner is someone who has completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then went on to obtain a master’s degree in nursing and also completed an accredited nurse practitioner program.

Then, as a registered nurse, you’ll have to complete the required hours of nursing experience before taking the exam that’s required by your state to become a certified nurse practitioner.

A nurse practitioner provides health care for patients with common illnesses, injuries, and other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

They are also able to prescribe medications based on medical needs, which include some controlled substances.

It takes time to build up your reputation and client base, but with time, you can become an invaluable resource for your organization.

Registered Nurse (RN)

A registered nurse is someone who has graduated from an accredited nursing program and then put in the required practice hours. RNs provide health care for patients with acute and chronic illnesses and also perform diagnostic tests to determine a patient’s condition.

Nurses provide emotional support to patients as well as their families, helping them make decisions regarding their healthcare. They also administer medications, start IV fluids, and take vital signs.

An important aspect of being an RN is taking care of patients that are admitted to the hospital.

They include assisting doctors with different procedures, administering medication to inpatients, and supervising nursing students and new nurses on their first job assignment.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

A licensed practical nurse is a person who graduated from an accredited nursing program or has a diploma in practical nursing and then completed an approved clinical program before passing the state exam.

Their primary responsibility is to administer patient exams, provide first aid, change bandages and dressings, prepare patients for surgery, and much more.

An LPN works with RNs to provide care for patients and support them on their journey to recovery.

Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)

A person who has taken on the nurse-midwife (CNM) certification is someone who has earned a nursing degree and then completed a CNM program.

There are two main areas of specialization for CNMs – obstetrics and gynecology, which focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecological care, and family practice, which deals with routine patient care.

The skills needed to be an effective midwife include having excellent people skills, being compassionate, having strong communication skills, and being able to work in a team environment with other health professionals.

Midwives provide care to women during pregnancy and childbirth safely at home or in hospitals and birthing centers.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

A person who has earned a certificate in CRNA certification is someone who has completed an accredited anesthesia program and then passed the state exam.

They’ve also completed an additional training program in advanced cardiac life support, which will help them perform emergency surgeries and provide advanced cardiac life support to patients to help keep their hearts beating.

Certified registered nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia care for patients undergoing surgery and intravenous (IV) sedation for patients who are unable to safely give consent or are unable to speak because of medical conditions.

As anesthesiologists, they’ll be responsible for monitoring a patient’s status, including observing vital signs.

Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Specialist

A person who has earned a certificate in psychiatric nurse certification is someone who has completed a master’s degree in nursing before completing the required certifications.

They’ll be responsible for helping patients with mental health challenges and also providing treatment for them.

The initial contact that a certified psychiatric mental health nurse specialist will have with a patient will provide them with an opportunity to evaluate their psychological, emotional, and physical needs as well as their responses to treatments.

After collecting enough information, they’ll develop an individualized plan for positive outcomes for patients by collaborating closely with other team members such as social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and medical staff.

How Will Nurse Roles Change in the Future?

Professional nursing today has evolved significantly in the last decade.

Today, it’s more important than ever to keep up with what’s happening and have a good understanding of the latest trends, especially in troubled economic times.

In order to preserve professionalism and confident interactions between patients, families, and staff, professionals must be able to adapt to change to meet the needs and interests of their clients.

Technology is going to be a big part of nursing in the future.

The department of health and human services has recently introduced a group called the Digital Health Inclusion Working Group that aims to find more effective ways to provide care through technology when and where it’s needed most.

The group wants to work on solutions that are cost-effective, can be implemented quickly, reduce risks, and help communities meet the needs of their citizens.

This type of collaboration is sorely needed in today’s technological-driven society, and it’s going to be vital for those pursuing professional nursing careers.

In order to stay on the cutting edge of this exciting field, make sure you keep up with the latest news and trends regarding the nursing industry.

Another aspect to consider is the focus on geriatric care.

The balance of our society is shifting as people are living longer, and there are more seniors in the country than ever before. With this new demographic will come an increased interest in the professional nursing careers of geriatric nurses.

Geriatric nurses are also needed to help patients recover from illnesses or accidents and prepare them for retirement needs such as Medicare and long-term care.

If you think you’re interested in a job that’s all about taking care of seniors, you could consider becoming a geriatric nurse.

Conclusion

Nursing has been a core career in the medical field for hundreds of years.

Though every job will require new skillsets and abilities, many nurses have a natural talent to help people and care for their chosen field.

In order to further progress in the profession, nurses must be willing to update their education and maintain their knowledge through professional certifications, continuing education courses, and working under the supervision of other professionals.

Nurses who choose this path will find that they’re happier in their positions because they’ve found careers that fit them perfectly and are passionate about helping others.

The career of a nurse is changing rapidly, and they must be willing to adapt to it.

As you look ahead to your future as a nurse, consider becoming certified in your chosen specialty areas and working in a facility where you can use your skills and knowledge to help others.

How to Break Out of a Rut in Your Nursing Career

Nursing may have been all you ever wanted to do as a child, or you may have come to it in later life. Either way, you can remember how enthusiastic you were on your first day at nursing school, how it felt to put the uniform on for the first time, and how nervous you felt the first time you had to deal with an actual patient.

If you have been working in the industry for a few years now, those happy memories may seem extremely far away. You had plans and goals when you first chose your career but once you have achieved them, what is there left to do? You have got to the point where you are feeling stuck in a rut. Although you still enjoy nursing overall you may find yourself feeling bored or restless and it can be difficult to find a way forward. If this sounds like you, here is a guide on how to break out of the rut in your nursing career and find a new sense of excitement and enjoyment.

Plan Ahead

You were probably the happiest in your career when you had been working in the job for a couple of years. You had been there long enough to be confident and not long enough to be bored. There was plenty you wanted to achieve, and you were going to great lengths to achieve your goals. However, once you have done this and enjoyed the fruits of your labor the work can get a little tedious and you may feel that you have lost direction.

You can change this by creating new plans. Think about what you would like to be doing a year, or five years from now. You may want to consider specializing or moving into management. Write yourself a plan of where you want your career to go and then work out the steps you will need to get there. You might not be able to do everything immediately but if you are working on your new goals, you will create a new sense of purpose and feel more motivated. This will help you to get out of your rut.

Learn All You Can

There may be some parts of your job that you are better at than others and this can lead you towards always doing the same jobs and leaving the things you aren’t as confident as to your colleagues who are. This means that although you feel comfortable with what you are doing, you never challenge yourself, and this can lead to boredom. Learn everything you can about your job, even the bits you are unsure of. Practice makes perfect and if you want to aim for a promotion, knowing your job inside out will certainly help you to get there.

Study

Studying can give you a new lease of life and make your job more interesting. It can also help you to achieve your goals. To advance in your career you may decide to study for one of the NP certificate programs available through Wilkes University. You can study online in your own time to gain many advanced nursing or specialist qualifications, and this will give your career a new angle and help you get out of your rut happy in the knowledge that you are working towards the future.

Volunteer for Work You Find Interesting

Make your voice heard at work by volunteering for things you are interested in. This could include a secondment or a side project that could even be linked to your studies. If you find this interesting, you will look forward to working on it and you could learn a lot of new skills. However, if you don’t speak up for yourself and let your colleagues know that you are willing to take on additional work, they won’t know to ask you.

Become a Mentor

You may still remember what it felt like to become a nurse. For the first few months, you were probably terrified of making mistakes and scared of asking questions for fear of looking silly. Imagine how good it would have been to have a senior nurse take you under their wing and mentor you. Even if you do not have a structured mentoring scheme in place at work, it doesn’t stop you from taking the newbies under your wing and helping them learn all they can about your job.

Mentoring will give your working life a new dimension as you will start seeing it through someone else’s eyes. This will make the job more interesting for you and it will be a fantastic way of gaining recognition from your seniors if you are looking for a promotion yourself.

Ask for Help

There is no shame in asking for help, no matter how long you have been in your position. Talk to a trusted colleague about how you are feeling, and they may be able to help. This can help you gain a new perspective on the rut you are in, and it could lead to you figuring a way out.

Often when someone is feeling unhappy at work it relates to something that affects everyone. However, until the first person is brave enough to speak up, everyone suffers in silence for fear that they will not be taken seriously. It may be that once you speak to a colleague about your issues, they will admit to feeling the same. This could lead to other people being brave enough to admit that they are having the same issues, and these can then be sorted out. Management does not like an unhappy workforce and if you speak out, they may want to make the necessary changes and make the job better for everyone.

Build Your Reputation

The good thing about being stuck in a rut is that it gives you time to make plans and build up your reputation. If you are always moving forwards, it can be more difficult to get noticed as you are constantly changing direction or department. You may get ahead quicker, but you will have to hustle for it.

If you have been in the same position for a while, you have had time to build up your reputation and you can continue to work on this as you go along. Become an expert in the work you are doing, and you will be noticed. Colleagues will come to you for advice and your good reputation could be a deciding factor with management when they are looking to make promotions.

Network

That time you think you are spending resting on your laurels can be put to effective use if it helps you to increase your career network. You can spend time getting to know people in other departments and districts. Don’t be afraid to let your new contacts know if you are interested in working with them more directly. This will make them likely to come to you first if an opportunity arises.

You can network outside of your place of work by volunteering to go to meetings or conferences about interesting or relevant industry events. This will help you to build up your network outside of your immediate environment which in turn increases opportunities for you. It will also keep you up to date with advances in nursing which means there is a further reason for colleagues to ask for your help and opinion in related matters.

Take a Break

Many nurses feel like they are stuck in a rut when they need to take a break. After the intensity of the Coronavirus epidemic, it is no surprise that nurses feel burnt out and this can often be mistaken for being stuck in a rut. If you love your job but feel trapped it might be time to physically get away from it all.

Now that travel is opening up again, take the opportunity to go on vacation and do what you want to do for a change. Take the time to relax and enjoy yourself and you could find that you are excited to be going back to work at the end of your vacation full of motivation and excitement about the next stage in your career. You could even write your five-year plan while you are lying on the beach.

Make Changes in Your Personal Life

If life is not going well for you outside work, then this can spill over into your working life too. It may be that the problem isn’t your job but things outside work that you are unhappy about, and it might be time to make some changes in your personal life rather than your career.

There could be a lot of things going on in your personal life. Your relationship might have gone stale, the kids are playing you up, or you are trying to move house. Consider what changes you could make outside work to make you happier and put them into practice. Once you are in a good place in your personal life you might find that your working life falls into place naturally.

Practice Self-Care

Concentrating on yourself might not come easily for you as a nurse as you are usually so busy being concerned with everyone else, but it is important to practice self-care. This will stop you from feeling burnt out and can improve the way you feel in general. Take a bubble bath, practice meditation, or go for walk-in natural surroundings whenever you can. Do something that is just for you and that can help you relax. It doesn’t need to take very long but you will be surprised how much difference just ten minutes of self-care per day can make to your emotional well-being.

Change Your Mindset

The power of positive thinking can make a world of difference to your love of life, and this is especially true of your career. You may have been doing the same thing for the past few years but getting complacent or bored with it means that you will find it even more boring. This goes round in a circle until you are feeling totally fed up and stuck in a rut. Think about the wonderful things that drove you to choose this career in the first place. They are still there but you may never consider them. Rather than thinking about how many times you have done the same tasks, think about the people you are helping, the lives you are improving and saving, and how much of a difference your actions will make to your patients and their families. Changing to a positive mindset isn’t always easy but it makes an enormous difference to your love of work.

Consider a Career Change

If you have tried all these things and are still feeling stuck in a rut, it might be time to consider whether nursing is the right career for you right now. The fantastic thing about nursing is that you can take a career break and return to it later. There will always be a need for good nurses and your qualifications and experience mean that you can walk back into nursing when the time is right.

No job is worth doing if you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning and face another day at work. It might be that you need to take a couple of years out and do something else entirely to reawaken your love of nursing and make it feel like a privilege rather than a chore.

This guide can offer you many suggestions on how to get out of a rut in your nursing career, but it can’t decide which one is best for you. Everyone feels stuck in a rut at some point in their career and often for different reasons. Consider why you feel this way and you can help yourself to get out of your rut and back to enjoying your career and feeling energized by it.

5 Things You Should do Before You Quit Nursing

Nursing is a very demanding job and it’s not uncommon for nurses to consider quitting many times during their careers. Things have been especially rough for nurses lately, and if you’ve thought about quitting, you’re not alone.

However, you have to think about all the years you’ve spent building experience in this industry and look at whether you’re truly ready for a life outside of nursing. There could also be options outside of quitting that you may have not considered. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should do before you quit nursing for good.

1. Speak to Someone

Before you make a snap decision about your career, you should think about getting support first. Maybe you can speak to someone you’re working alongside with whom you have a good rapport or find a nurse support group. There are plenty of groups around the country that are there specifically to help nurses who are feeling distressed at work. The people here may be able to give you the help you need and tell you whether getting out of the profession is the best and only choice for you.

You should also look at the resources available at your place of work. If you have a wellness program or can have access to a therapist, use them right now because times like these are specifically why these resources were set up. Also, don’t be afraid to tell people around you if you’re feeling out of it. They might not be able to help you, but they may approach you differently which could make a world of difference and maybe convince you to stick around for a little while more.

2. Change Departments or Look at Specializations

If you’re a registered nurse, you should first look at whether you could specialize before calling it quits. You should also consider asking to be moved to a different wing to see if you could benefit from a change of air and pace. It would be a good idea to look at a few specializations first and see if anything catches your eye. You could then ask to be moved to a corresponding department. This will give you an idea of what the job of nurses in that specialization really is like and if this is something you could see yourself doing for the rest of your career.

It would also be a good idea to speak with as many nurses as possible in the areas that interest you. If you want to know an easy way to get in contact with specialized nurses and ask for their opinion, LinkedIn is the place to go. You can run a search on LinkedIn for nurses in virtually any specialization and you’re likely to find one that will be willing and happy to tell you what you can expect from the position. They’ll be able to tell you some of the pros and cons of the specialization along with some of the challenges that might stand in your way.

3. Look at Leadership Roles

Another thing you could consider is moving to a leadership or administrative role. This is an especially good option if you’re an experienced nurse and you feel stuck in your current position. Sometimes, nurses get disengaged because of the monotony of the job and they start going through the motions, or they feel stifled in their responsibilities. If you have always craved having more responsibilities on the floor and are already the one keeping everyone on track, then you might be the right fit for a leadership position.

If this is something that interests you, know that you don’t have to quit to working as a nurse leader. Universities like Baylor have online nursing leadership courses that you can take from the comfort of your home. You’ll be able to get your credentials and maybe start applying some of the things you learn in your course as you go. This could allow you to move to a better position before you even complete your studies.

4. Start Working Part-Time

If you have a solid safety net and you feel like you’re making much more than you need right now, there’s nothing stopping you from working part-time. You could realize that you are simply overworked and aren’t sick of the profession per se. Another option would be to move to a three-day schedule with 12-hour shifts. You won’t find this type of schedule everywhere, but if you do, working three days only while still being able to earn a full-time income could be a life-changer. This is especially true if you have children and feel like your job is hurting your relationship with them.

5. Get Away from the Bedside

Have you thought about getting a non-beside job? Nursing is such a vast field and quitting just because you’re sick of the ER would be a horrible decision if you don’t look at alternatives first. For instance, you could move to a job as a school nurse and get much easier shifts. Not to mention that you won’t have to worry about overtime, and you’ll get three months of vacation every summer. Or you could work as a rescue nurse and provide life support to people getting airlifted. You could work on a cruise line if you want and get to travel the seven seas while assisting cruise-goers. You also have the option to move into academia or research.

Another option could be to become a nurse entrepreneur or provide services. Some nurses provide transcription services, for instance, or work as forensic nurse consultants. You could also provide specialized training for certification or work as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company or medical equipment manufacturer. There are so many opportunities out there for you when you have nursing qualifications, so see how you can capitalize on your experience before you just throw it away.

These are all things you need to look into before you think about leaving the nursing field entirely. This is a decision you might end up regretting fast, so look at all the options that are open to you and take your time.

10 of The Most Influential 20th Century Psychologists

As we merge ever more into society as we age, we are constantly learning new ideas and ideals such as ​assimilation psychology.

In doing this, we experience things that either change or confirm our current state of mind.  This is why we are often drawn to people that have new perspectives or ideas that we can draw from.

We Are All Just Trying to Make Sense of the World- It’s the Nature of the Beast

 

babysleeping

Think about a newborn baby. Babies are the cleanest slate possible When it comes to their psychology. They have not experienced anything thus far, so they are free to learn anything without any kind of interference from previous thought.

Babies often bond with their mothers within the first weeks of life. At this point, they have learned that mothers are the most important people in the world. As they get older, they often separate from their mothers to form attachments with dad, siblings, or other caregivers.

At this point, they learn that there are more people that can be trusted, also.

From these people that they grow to trust, they will learn other things by observing, such as how to hold silverware, proper manners, and toilet training.

Another phenomena of human psychology, especially assimilation psychology is that we are always trying to be like the people we are surrounded by. We tend to dress to fit in with our peers, we sometimes pick up similar musical tastes, and we might even pick up dialects and accents based on the people we work with or live near.

Why does this happen, though?

Why Question Mark Represents Confusion Questions And Aim; assimilation psychology

​Jean Piaget initially proposed the idea of ​assimilation psychology. Piaget claimed that assimilation is a part of human psychology that is particularly important during the formative years of childhood. This is how children learn to react to social queues and how certain aspects of the world work.

How Does Assimilation Psychology Work?

Assimilation psychology, according to Piaget, is the easiest way that people adapt to new experiences.

The reason assimilation is believed to be the easiest is because it requires very little adjustment. In this method of adaptation, we simply apply new knowledge to that which is already known. Because it has to fit with what is currently known, though, how we adapt is based entirely upon our current state of mind.

For example, let’s say that your co-worker has a son who seems well adjusted and kind. One day, though, you see the boy at a local park throwing rocks at a bird’s nest.

To you, this behavior seems very out of character. Your co-worker has always bragged about their child’s sensitivity and and care and concern for animals and other people, but today he seems to be trying to harm animals.

Assimilation psychology takes place in how we process this information.

If you already have doubts about your co-worker’s honesty, you might determine that they have overinflated the good merits of the child. If you trust your co-worker, you might determine that the child is simply having a bad day or has picked up a bad habit by observing another child.

You might even work out that the child is still very kind and well-mannered, but simply has a mischievous aspect of his personality. In this case, you could find the behavior funny because it is so out of character that it is almost endearing.

This is how adaptation works based on our previous knowledge or experiences.

We take what we already know and add new information to the mix. It becomes a clue, rather than a whole new perspective. If we determine that the child is mean and that he is conning everyone including his mom, though, we are creating a completely new idea. This is a process known as accommodation.

Examples of Assimilation in Society

To further explore assimilation psychology, we need to look at a few more examples. They are as follows:

A baby tries lemons for the first time.

lemon

Imagine it’s a baby’s first birthday. They have previously tried all kinds of fruit- watermelon, strawberries, grapes, and bananas are their favorite. They have learned by trying these fruits that fruit is sweet and delicious.

Then, Uncle Mike shows up at the party. Uncle Mike has no children and makes a habit of using his nieces and nephews for a chuckle. He decides to pull a lemon slice from the pitcher of lemonade and let baby have a try, knowing the sour flavor of the fruit will give them an adorable pucker. Naturally, the ploy is successful.

The baby has now learned that not all fruits are sweet. They might also have learned to never trust food from Uncle Mike.

A child meets an angry dog.

Angry dog

Now imagine a little girl named Sophie. She has always been around dogs. Her parents have two large German Shepherds who do very well with her. Her grandpa has a Chihuahua who is also very mellow and child- friendly and Aunt Ellen has a cocker spaniel.

She’s learned from her exposure to these dogs that sometimes dogs bark a lot and sometimes they don’t bark at all. She’s also learned that they can come in a variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and coat lengths.

One day, Sophie is playing outside when a man walks his dog past. The dog begins snarling and growling and attacks the fence. He is very scary.

Sophie has now learned that some dogs are not friendly.

A woman discovers a country music CD in her rocker husband’s car.

disc

This is a tricky one. One day, Karen gets into her husband’s car because hers is not running properly. As she pulls out of the driveway, she decides to turn on the radio and is instantly met with the sound of country music.

She checks the radio station, but discovers that she is actually listening to a CD. She is somewhat baffled. She has always known her husband to enjoy heavy metal and rock music. In fact, she met him in a mosh pit. It is out of his usual character to enjoy country music.

This can go one of two ways, depending on the history of the marital couple. If her husband has previously been unfaithful, she might immediately assume that he has been driving around a secret partner in his car.

If they have never encountered any issues before, she will probably just assume that he has learned to like a new kind of music or that he has always been a secret country music fan.

​These Are Both Examples of Assimilation Psychology

Assimilation

Everyday Assimilation Psychology

Piaget described processes where we learn and grow, adapting to our environment, socially and physically. He names these processes assimilation. In this process, the experience is brought in from the outside into the inside without interrupting our pre-existing ideas. This works especially well when the new item is an additional item of something we are familiar with. The process can be useful but sometimes it results in squeezing reality to fit.

The internal world has to change in response to new factors that are introduced.  This can be harder, especially in adults because it may mean changing something vital about something someone has always taken for granted. An example of this is the belief in the sanctity of marriage and moving toward divorce. The term for this is cognitive dissonance. He stated that it is not doable to hold two incompatible ideas in your head at the same time. A great way we see this carried out in real life is by having a firm belief that it is wicked to kill, yet being forced to become a soldier.

Assimilating the Internet

For anyone below midlife age, the use of the World Wide Web as the definition for all things both essential and trivial is taken for granted. The interwebs sit waiting for us to consult its seemingly-endless, virtual pages on all things from lists. to serious help to understand anything history to science. Social media allows us to connect with our family and what we now call “friends” and buying sites allow the whole world purchasing to be closer to us than our nearest mall.

For those over middle age, we have had to assimilate the internet into our lives as a tool for everyday activities: research, social interaction, and shopping.  Before it existed, we had to ask encyclopedias, annual collections of trivia, and the television for information to study. For reaching out to friends and family, we would use the house phone or wrote a letter. Shopping was done in person, always.  There will be very few people who will regret the passing of snail mail) or the limited options of strip mall shopping. The introduction of the internet has been one assimilation that has been easy and enjoyable.

This is an illustration of assimilation because though while the way we use the internet to carry out these parts of our lives, the basic concepts of studying, interacting, and shopping have not changed.

Final Thoughts on Assimilation Psychology

Understanding assimilation psychology is vital in realizing why we do the things we do as a culture. Assimilation is the reason for so much of the everyday pushback we naturally have to changes.

The Dangers of Self-Diagnosing Personality

Thanks to self-help books, and increasing open discussions revolving around mental health and personality disorders, many people fall into the trap of self-diagnosis. Although there is nothing wrong with being curious about self-exploration, and looking for answers online, it doesn’t make one an instant expert on personality disorders.

The human mind is a continuing subject of focus, intently studied by medical professionals and scientists. Despite the plethora of information online, there is still limited and ongoing studies about the causes and available treatments for various mental disorders.

One thing that makes self-diagnosing personality so dangerous is that people armed with little to no working knowledge of psychology and mental disorders, can and do quickly conclude the state of their mental health or others. Pointing out oneself or others as being OCD, bipolar, or manic without a certified diagnosis by a professional, can be very damaging.

At times, some people may feel that they do have a mental or physical illness which needs a professional diagnosis. If a person chooses to self-diagnose their believed condition, they might end up self-medicating, misdiagnosing themselves, or go untreated for whatever illness they may have.

Although there is helpful information online to guide seekers in the right direction, a self-diagnosing personality left unchecked can be a source of problems.

Some common symptoms that may be a sign of a mental or physical illness, which can lead to a misdiagnosis without professional assessment include:

  • Feeling fatigued most of the time
  • Plagued by headaches
  • Difficulty being around loud noises or bright lights
  • Auditory or physical hallucinations

At first glance, these symptoms could be the result of mental illness. But they could also be brought about by stress, exhaustion, or another valid reason.

However, only a trained and certified medical professional can accurately assess what a patient’s problem may be.

What Are The Dangers of Self-Diagnosing Personality?

Dangers of Self-Diagnosing Personality
Photo credit to The Pitt News

Although the internet is a fascinating place filled with information on everything possible, not all sites can be trusted. Some websites can misinform, or prey on people’s fears for clicks. Anyone who solely trusts whatever information they discover online, without taking it with a grain of salt, may end up believing that are fully capable of self-diagnosing without error.

When browsing the web for answers, it is important to find sources which use information sourced from journals, medical schools, or professional organizations. Ultimately, it is crucial that professional assessments are used to uncover whether there is indeed a mental or physical illness present.

According to various studies, only about 50% of people discuss their online search findings with their doctor. Many people are willing to believe what they learn from their search results and are not often willing to consult another source to fact-check.

When people have a self-diagnosing personality, they may take specific actions that can prove risky. After making a self-assessment and declaration of a perceived specific medical or mental condition, it can lead to the following.

  • An attempt may be made to cure the problem of dietary changes or taking medication
  • The self-diagnosing person may follow a treatment plan that is not needed or helpful
  • Self-diagnosing personality can lead to seeking unorthodox treatments to cure their believed problem
  • Avoidance of medical professional guidance and treatment may follow
  • Untreated and undiagnosed mental or physical problems can lead to other related health ailments, or become worse
  • A firm belief that the self-diagnosis is infallible and no second opinion is needed may occur

Self-diagnosing personality can prove hazardous because it leads to an assumption that enough information is known to declare a status. Having a limited amount of information, and overconfidence about the level of knowledge needed to diagnose correctly can lead to ignoring, or completely passing over nuances of certain mental or physical conditions.

It can become easy for self-diagnosing personality types to incorrectly asses specific medical ailments as a psychiatric problem. As an example, cardiovascular system problems that lead to irregular heartbeats might be self-diagnosed as a panic attack disorder.

Sometimes tumors can lead to personality changes, which may lead to self-medication with over-the-counter drugs, or other temporary solutions.

So Why Are People Prone To Self-Diagnosing Personality?

Borderline Personality Disorder
Photo credit to Optimum Performance Institute

Conversations about mental health and physical ailments can be quite the hot topic. However, due to stigma, or reliance on the internet, many people turn to self-diagnosing.

According to sources like Wikipedia, the term cyberchondria, or ‘compucondria’ has developed in today’s modern society. This term is used to define deeply unfounded concerns about symptoms, after a review of internet searches and literature has been read online.

Many healthcare professionals have become leery of patients who feel that they are expert enough to self-diagnose any perceived illness or disease. And these patients may often exhibit anxiety over their conclusions. According to CBS, over a third of Americans choose to go online to uncover the cause of their health condition, versus seeking the advice of a medical professional first.

Sometimes, after receiving a negative diagnosis from a medical professional, patients may feel anxious, devastated, or desperate for a second opinion. Negative experiences with medical professionals can also contribute to self-diagnosis personality. After all, some people feel like only they can know themselves best.

On further diagnosis, many patients may find that their self-diagnosis completely missed the mark, or was not as bad as previously thought.

Undermining The Authority of Medical Professionals

Undermining The Authority of Medical Professionals
Photo credit to Medscape

Doctors take an oath to look out for the well-being of their patients with a commitment to ethics within their practice. After spending so many years learning the ins-and-outs of their profession, it can be more than challenging interacting with a self-diagnosing personality.

When a person feels that they have enough understanding to diagnose their health after browsing the web, it can create unbalance and distrust within a doctor and patient relationship. Trust is essential to deriving an accurate diagnosis of an ailment.

It is vital that a doctor respect the patient’s opinion, and be open to a discussion surrounding the facts of a mental and physical health diagnosis and treatment plan.

There are many occasions where the symptoms of one health condition, such as anxiety, may be present alongside another condition like depression. Someone with a self-diagnosing personality is usually unable to discern accurately what a patient is dealing with or may think that there is a problem that in fact doesn’t exist.

Worrying about a health condition that doesn’t even exist, at times may be even worse than a misdiagnosis.

Seeking out a knowledgeable professional that can be trusted, and is willing to assess and treat both mental and physical health problems respectfully is valuable. The internet may be a significant source of information, but a one-on-one interaction between a doctor and patient can better surmise a proper diagnosis.

Embracing Positive Steps And Getting Professional Help

Embracing Positive Steps And Getting Professional Help
Photo credit to Healthline

People may choose to self-diagnose because of embarrassment about their symptoms, they don’t want to spend on medical expenses, or they are in denial. No matter the reason, self-diagnosis may lead to more harm than good.

Choosing to get a second opinion from a trusted medical professional is the only way to gain more clarity on one’s mental and physical health.

An incorrect diagnosis can lead to taking the wrong form of treatment, development of anxiety or depression over a believed condition which may not even exist, and avoidance of necessary treatment.

All sites do not provide the most accurate information on human health, and questionable websites that lack affiliation with a medical or healthcare institution should undergo some scrutiny.

There is nothing wrong with being curious and having a desire to learn more about the health symptoms that may cause some alarm. However, immediately applying whatever little information learned online, as a succinct and complete diagnosis is problematic.

When receiving a professional assessment for diagnosis, patients should look for their health care provider to commit to doing a few key things.

Any relevant information regarding a patient’s lifestyle, significant changes, and other pertinent details may be needed.

Standard tests used to measure the quality and impact that specific symptoms may have, and overall mental and or physical health.

Upon diagnosis, the patient should receive comprehensive information regarding treatment options, and conclusive findings.

An opportunity to discuss any information found online should be made available, to clarify any misinformation, and to acknowledge proactivity of patient for greater self-awareness.

The medical professional should set a tone that seeks to establish a relationship built on trust, mutual respect, and open discussion.

Leave The Final Diagnosis To The Professionals

People who have self-diagnosis personality are more likely to self-medicate, and obsess over the anxieties of their perceived health condition. Sometimes self-diagnosing types can develop the symptoms of their believed state, leading to even more problems when a professional finally gets involved.

When in doubt, it is best to get a second opinion from a valid certifiable source and let the medical professionals do their job. Self-diagnosis personality can lead to risky behavior, damaging name-calling, and rampant misinformation.