SWeAT statement: Stress, burnout, depression and work satisfaction among UK anaesthetic trainees
The Association of Anaesthetists Trainee Committee represents the views of approximately 3500 anaesthetic trainees and is a part of the Association of Anaesthetists. As a membership organisation, we speak up freely and openly on a broad range of issues in the interests of anaesthetists and their patients.
The Association of Anaesthetists Trainee Committee commends the findings detailed in both Looseley et al's and Wainwright et al’s SWeAT study paper “Stress, burnout, depression and work satisfaction among UK anaesthetic trainees; a quantitative analysis of the Satisfaction and Wellbeing in Anaesthetic Training study”. In addition to work published by the British Medical Association, this study highlights the potential scale of this critical wellbeing issue and its impact on the workforce as a whole. With burnout being recognised as an occupational phenomenon by the World Health Organisation, it is imperative that we work with and for our members to tackle this highly significant issue.
Through our current campaigns, #FightFatigue, #KnockItOut and #CoffeeAndAGas we have become aware of the impact that working in our highly acute specialty has on anaesthetists’ physical and mental health. The SWeAT study specifically highlights the burden of non-clinical work felt by trainees. Since it was published, we have learned of strategies employed to combat such problems including dedicated trainee SPA time and “Wellbeing Walls”. By highlighting and sharing these examples of good practice, we hope to encourage other departments to consider implementing similar initiatives for the benefit of their trainees.
We would like to remind members that the Association of Anaesthetists champions the wellbeing of anaesthetists and offers support in many and varied ways including the department Link, the trainee network leads, the Less-Than-Full-Time network and mentoring as well as providing guidance and links to other support resources.
The Association of Anaesthetists is and will continue to be an advocate for trainees. Our committee’s aim is to help to promote trainee wellbeing in order to reduce the risk of burnout in this challenging yet rewarding job. There has never been a better time to be part of our ever-growing professional family, the Association of Anaesthetists.
Chair of the Association of Anaesthetists Trainee Committee