Should Resilience Training Be Compulsory for Healthcare Students?

Personnel shortages and growing patient demand are just some of the reasons why NHS workers experience growing strain in their roles. With concerns over nursing shortages and more doctors needed in general practice, there is pressure on the NHS to retain jobs and ease incidents of stress. Resilience training is one way to prepare students for their future careers, but should it be compulsory?

What is resilience training?

Resilience training is offered in many workplaces to help employees manage stressful situations and look after their mental health. It is already offered by mental health charity Mind to those who work in the emergency services. The course Mind offers is taught by those who are experienced in the emergency services and helps to prepare students for the challenges they might face in their roles.

Resilience training for students – should it be compulsory?

The case is strong for resilience training for students in the healthcare sector. Both students and qualified healthcare professionals will encounter stressful and traumatic experiences as part of their roles, which could be helped significantly by resilience training.

Resilience training is already offered by the NHS, but making it compulsory at undergraduate level could help avoid many of the experiences faced by NHS staff on a daily basis. Sick days as a result of stress and doctors leaving the role full-time to go part-time are some of the reasons behind the current staff shortages. Mandatory training typically includes manual handling training, data protection and similar education, while adding resilience training could help to meet the modern demands of the healthcare industry and equip healthcare professionals with a broader range of skills.

A useful addition but not the whole solution

Resilience training for students is one potential solution that could equip NHS staff with the skills they need to manage a demanding environment. However, resilience training for students is a small step towards what is seen as a larger problem. Stress currently leaves one in four unable to cope ‘at least once a week’ as a result of growing demands, staff shortages and long working weeks. The NHS Long Term Plan is expected to bring many changes that will provide help to GPs to better deliver community healthcare, but will it enough?  With concerns over staff shortages, GPs are calling for more doctors and nurses to be brought to the forefront of healthcare in the UK.

Resilience training can provide a boost for staff experiencing stress as a result of their jobs, but there are alternative solutions available. Making a move to out-of-hours will enable doctors and nurses to remain a part of community care in a less stressful, more flexible role. If you’re interested in working out-of-hours, you can view the latest East Berkshire out of hours roles on our site.