Schaibley: Supporting Hoosiers who dedicate their careers to healing others

Posted by: Andi Sommers  | Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Health care providers are by their patients' sides during some of the most difficult and challenging times in their lives. Even after substantial training and education, these health care heroes often experience a roller coaster of emotion along with their patients and their families. Over the last year, the pandemic highlighted the emotional impacts that the incredible stress of the job and long hours can have on our hard-working health care workers. That's why this session I supported legislation to help give Indiana's health care practitioners more resources and support when coping with the emotional ups and downs that come with working in medical field.

I sponsored Senate Enrolled Act 365, which if signed into law, would create an opportunity for these professionals to confidentially seek care for occupational stressors, including fatigue, burnout and behavioral health concerns without adversely impacting their careers. Any information shared during support sessions could not be reported to the Medical Licensing Board.

The goal is to proactively address issues before they adversely affect professionals' mental health or behavior. Recent studies show 44-78% of physicians experience burnout at some point in their careers. An even more startling statistic shows an estimated 300 to 400 physicians die by suicide each year, which is double the rate of the general population, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

These physicians are often on the front line of the most challenging times of their patients' most difficult moments of their lives. In order for these professionals to continue serving Hoosiers, they must be equipped with the resources they need to seek support for career fatigue and professional burnout. I look forward to Gov. Eric Holcomb signing this legislation into law, and I will continue to look for ways to support our health care heroes. If you have any questions about SEA 365 or have any input about how I can better serve our community, please to contact my office at H24@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) represents House District 24,
which includes portions of Boone and Hamilton counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.