Burnout Busters | The Podcast



Well-being is likely a familiar concept to most health care providers, but misunderstood or underutilized ​when applying it to themselves. Burnout Busters helps health care workers make sense of the wealth of well-being research and apply these tried and true practices to their own lives ​and organizations. Well-versed in well-being, Drs. Jordan Thayer and Hannah West help providers identify their values, begin their mindfulness journey, and engage in activities that reinforce the principles of well-being. ​They also discuss how health care organizations can prioritize and support well-being in the workplace. Join us for ​practical tips​ ​and strategies, guest experts, and more.





Episode 6: When empathy becomes too much: How crises translate to trauma and what to do about it

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | Listen now!

Health care professionals working with patients or clients who have endured traumatic events can expect to experience some stress related to this role. But at what point does that stress become detrimental, or even cross a line into secondary or vicarious trauma? This week, join our Burnout Busters for a conversation around trauma. Host Hannah West, PhD, talks about her work with trauma patients and with organizations on addressing trauma among caregivers, prior to and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll learn how to recognize trauma and take steps to respond to its symptoms, and how the “do no harm” tenet of the Hippocratic oath applies to health workers in addition to their subjects.


Hannah West HeadshotHannah West, PhD, BCBA, is a regional trainer for the Mid-America MHTTC and behavioral health provider at Sunflower Pediatric Behavioral Health in Shawnee, Kansas. Dr. West is passionate about assisting schools and districts at the systems level through consultation and coaching to match student academic, behavioral and mental health needs with resources available through the development of multi-tiered systems of support. As a trainer for the National Association of School Psychologists’ (NASP) PREPaRE curriculum, she is also passionate about working with schools to implement best-practice prevention, intervention, and postvention supports related to school crises. Dr. West received her doctorate in school psychology from Oklahoma State University. Her doctoral training and research focused on child and adolescent assessment and treatment, as well as working within the systems and environments they live to match resources to needs.



Episode 5: Don't go it alone: Meaningful connections can help you through tough times

Monday, May 10, 2021 | Listen now!

No one knows better than registered nurse Denesha McGhee-Hill that we have to lean on our connections with others to help us weather difficult experiences. McGhee-Hill started working on a medical surgical floor in February 2020 and, like many nurses at the time, quickly transitioned into treating COVID-19 patients. In addition to learning to bear the typical stressors of patient care, she was on the front lines as the world came to find out just how devastating the COVID-19 virus would be. In this episode of Burnout Busters, join us for a conversation with McGhee-Hill about how relationships — be it with a partner, family member, colleague, or mentor — provide support during difficult times in our personal and professional lives and help us maintain perspective on life.


Denesha McGhee-Hill HeadshotDenesha McGhee-Hill is a registered nurse on a medical surgical floor at Nebraska Medicine. Since early 2020, she has treated countless COVID-19 patients by day (and sometimes night) and then come home to resume her other life roles as mother, spouse, and role model. Prior to her work as a front-line nurse amid a pandemic, Denesha spent four years as a clinical licensed practical nurse (LPN), splitting her time between two Nebraska Medicine clinical sites. Her main base site at this time was the Girls Inc. Health Center. During her time here, she was the pioneer and point person for the Allied Health Professionals (AHP) program, which provided free STI testing to individuals ages 14-24. She performed these tests and educated clients on making safe and conscious decisions pertaining to consensual sexual activities. Denesha is a fierce advocate for her patients, other nurses, and herself, making her the perfect person to sit down with us and discuss techniques for managing individual well-being under strenuous circumstances. In particular, we'll hear how she leaned on personal connections and her community through these times.



Intermission: Mental Health Awareness Month: 30-day well-being challenge

Monday, May 4, 2021 | Listen now!

The Burnout Busters introduce listeners to our 30-day mental health challenge held in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month. Follow @MidAmericaMHTTC on Twitter and search Mid-America MHTTC on Facebook for simple daily exercises intended to boost your mental health and well-being.

Let us know you're participating using the hashtag #mhttcbyebyeburnout. This will enter you in a chance to win a physical copy of our Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) workbook, containing many more well-being activities.

We'll be back May 10 with a full-length episode on connection and community.



Episode 4: Be here now: Integrating mindfulness into your daily life with ease

Monday, April 19, 2021 | Listen now!

Mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, sometimes all it takes is returning your awareness to the present moment. The science behind mindfulness is known worldwide and cross-culturally: Our brains are prediction-making machines, so it can take some training to prevent ourselves from jumping to conclusions about events that haven’t happened yet. This week, Steve Wengel, MD, is our guest from the “wellness biz” (his words). Dr. Wengel is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and the assistant vice chancellor for campus wellness for UNMC and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Join the Burnout Busters for a practical discussion about how time-pressed health care professionals can make mindfulness work for them.


Steve Wengel HeadshotSteven Wengel, MD, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and the first-ever assistant vice chancellor for campus wellness for UNMC and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Dr. Wengel is from Omaha and has been a practicing psychiatrist since 1991, specializing in geriatric psychiatry. He treats patients with a broad range of psychiatric conditions, including dementia, depression, and anxiety disorders. He is currently the director of the UNMC Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, and he previously served as the chair of the UNMC Department of Psychiatry, from 2004 to 2018. Dr. Wengel has a longstanding interest in the role of non-medication interventions for reducing stress and anxiety. He has employed meditation techniques in his personal, clinical, and academic practices for many years, and has worked with the University of Nebraska to create innovative academic and clinical programs in stress reduction. In his current role as the wellness champion for UNMC, he oversees academic programs reaching out to faculty and trainees in all disciplines. His goal is to reduce stress and burnout in health care students and staff, as well as to reach out to other populations across the state and region.



Episode 3: Calibrating your life compass: How values can orient you toward well-being

Monday, April 13, 2021 | Listen now!

One of the most important steps we can take when investing in our well-being is identifying our values: or, as this week's guest Ali DeLizza, PhD, defines them, “the things in life that give us meaning and purpose.” Once we’ve identified our values, we can set goals that help us prioritize actions that make us feel fulfilled — even when we are experiencing stress or burnout in other parts of our professional and personal lives. Dr. DeLizza is a child psychologist and director of wellness programming at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where she also serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry. This week, she chats with the Burnout Busters about how living life in accordance with your values can improve your well-being, and she teaches a simple, mindful technique that can help you gain a little perspective even on a hectic day.


Alison DeLizza, PhDAli DeLizza, PhD, is director of wellness programming and an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). As a child psychologist, Dr. DeLizza works extensively with children and teens with anxiety and depression, using approaches from acceptance and commitment therapy to help her patients improve their well-being in part by committing to valued actions. Dr. DeLizza also works with children and teens with ADHD and other behavior disorders, and with LGBTQIA+ youth. In addition to her clinical interests, she is committed to making organizational-level changes to support professional well-being at UNMC and beyond. She has been working in Nebraska since 2018, when she relocated from Western Michigan.



Episode 2: When self-care isn't enough: Why we need organizations to tackle well-being

Monday, April 5, 2021 | Listen now!

Sometimes, our best efforts to cultivate individual well-being just won't cut it. Instead, workplace culture needs a do-over. Clayton Cook, PhD, of the University of Minnesota helps organizations do just that. This week, our Burnout Busters talk to Dr. Cook — one of the masterminds behind the Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) — about what it takes to build healthier work environments. When organizations adopt a culture of well-being, he explains, employees can expend their energy working rather than tolerating their work conditions. This episode is a must-listen for both health care leadership and everyday professionals. Administrators with the capacity to implement change will learn the concrete benefits of investing in organizational well-being, and employees will learn why it’s important to advocate for change.


Clayton Cook, PhDDr. Clayton Cook is the John and Nancy Peyton Endowed Chair in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing and a professor of educational psychology at the University of Minnesota. He has extensive research and practical experiences involving the implementation of equity-centered multi-tiered systems of support to promote children’s social, emotional, and behavioral well-being and development. He is the associate director of innovation and research for the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement at the University of Minnesota. He has received over $17 million in external grant funding from multiple agencies and foundations to conduct research on the implementation of high-quality programs and practices that promote student social, emotional, and behavioral enablers to school and life success. He also consults with school systems across the U.S. and globe to increase children’s access to the services they need.



Episode 1: We are not robots: How stress is core to being human and ways we can work with it during tough times

Monday, March 29, 2021 | Listen now!

Ever feel overwhelmed by messaging about self-care, or plagued by toxic positivity? What constitutes self-care, and at what point can it become unhelpful? This week, the Burnout Busters explain the meaning of stress, argue the case for a strong focus on professional well-being, and dismantle common misconceptions about well-being with Aria Fiat, PhD, one of the developers of the Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) and a school and pediatric psychologist, speaker, and educator based at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Fiat shares simple stress-busting tactics — gratitude journaling and listening to your inner child — that she uses to redirect her thoughts during difficult times, such as the not-so-new normal (or not-normal) resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Aria Fiat Headshot Burnout BustersDr. Aria Fiat is a pediatric and school psychologist devoted to promoting equitable, accessible, and culturally responsive mental health care. She is currently completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she will soon begin her tenure as an assistant professor of pediatrics. Dr. Fiat completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Munroe Meyer Institute, providing psychological services through Omaha Children's, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Omaha Public Schools. Dr. Fiat’s work as a clinician, researcher, educator, speaker, and advocate focuses on enhancing the capacity of systems to promote behavioral health and wellness, with an emphasis on supporting the educators and caregivers who help children thrive. She has co-authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings and delivered multiple keynote addresses on related topics. Dr. Fiat is the creator of The Seven C’s: A Toolkit for Caregivers Coping in a Crisis. She is also a co-developer and researcher of the Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC). In collaboration with the Mid-America MHTTC, Dr. Fiat is striving to increase availability of the ARC to school districts throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri.



Enter to win!

Use the hashtag #mhttcbyebyeburnout to share your well-being journey with us on Twitter and Facebook. Each time you use the hashtag, you'll be entered to win a physical copy of our ARC workbook.

Questions? Email us at [email protected].


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