The Ida Institute tackles clinician well-being and burnout with a free new course

By Clint McLean

“Since burnout is both an individual and organizational crisis, wellness is both an organizational and individual responsibility,” says Dr. Dunay Schmulian, co-creator and presenter of our free, new Learning Hall course, Clinician Well-being: The Science of Self-care. 

While hearing care professionals have the privilege of being part of their clients’ hearing care journeys, they also face caseload challenges, business pressures, and environmental influences that add pressure to an already demanding role. On top of that, they can inadvertently take on their clients’ distress over hearing challenges or other things discussed in appointments. If clinicians are not aware and prepared, they are at risk of professional fatigue. Our new four-part course helps learners identify, prevent, and address such things as vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout. 

“Too often I have read that professional fatigue is an occupational hazard and a question of when not if,” says Schmulian. “Fortunately, the current understanding of what it takes to have a thriving career is rapidly expanding as clinicians and organizations prioritize self-care as a daily routine.”

Self-care allows for better care of others

This course helps hearing care professionals exercise self-care for their own well-being. Learners will understand the elements of professional fatigue and how to identify early warning signs of it. By the end of the course, learners will be able to develop their own professional fatigue warning scale, a self-care strategy, and a framework for debriefing within a clinical setting.

Ida’s Managing Director, Lise Lotte Bundesen, said, “While most of our resources focus on the needs of people with hearing loss, we know that burnout, stress, and the various forms of professional fatigue are an ongoing concern for both employers and employees across industries. This course looks specifically at the risks and remedies of professional fatigue in a hearing care setting and gives clinicians the tools to evaluate their own needs and make self-care a part of their daily lives. Because we can’t help others if we don’t first look after ourselves.”

Tips for clinicians and employers

In Clinician Well-being, Schmulian digs deep into preventions and remedies for professional fatigue and provides suggestions for both employees and employers. Some tips learners will discover include:

Employees: Develop a self-care toolkit that is as unique and individual as you are. Some people would benefit from focusing more on the key elements of their overall wellness strategy, whereas others may find very specific additions to their self-care skill set more resonant. 

Keep revising and adjusting as you go. If the response to COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we need to have a light touch when it comes to goals. What worked in January of 2021 may not be as helpful in November of 2023.

Employers: Lead by example. Daily. Change and transformation is in what is modelled and what occurs every day, not at the team-building event or national conference.  

How to sign up

The course is available for free in the Ida Learning Hall catalog under "Level 4: Staffing and Training."

If you already have a Learning Hall account, click here to log in.

If you don't yet have an account, click here to register for free.

Clinician Well-being: The Science of Self-care is taught by Dr Dunay Schmulian, Director of Audiology at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland, Australia. Schmulian is the former Chair of Wellness and Culture at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Queensland and a Women in STEMM Fellowship recipient. Her research focuses on the lived experience of patients and clinicians engaged in life-changing health conditions.