“One of the things I've learned about is the power of the moment. When we take a moment to reflect on ourselves, to look after ourselves and be kind to ourselves for just a moment, we can do a whole lot. It helps us keep going to serve other people.”
Meet Bruce Cairnie, lead, Resilience and Critical Incident Stress Management. Bruce and his team work to support staff, physicians and volunteers to address their emotional and psychological response after experiencing a stressful event or critical incident. They work with a set of skills called ‘critical incident stress management’ to help people reduce stress and restore emotional and physical health.
When the pandemic first hit, Bruce and his team were at-the-ready, knowing a pandemic would be a critical incident like no other. “The first wave was an interesting experience for me, because in this work, we're ready to go. We want to respond and support people,” says Bruce. But he recalls the beginning was a time for his team to wait.
“People had the energy, they had the drive and they had commitment.”
It wasn’t long though before their resilience services and resources were welcomed and in high demand.
“When the second wave came along, we became very, very busy,” Bruce says.
“We're still receiving lots of requests. We're seeing a lot of people and going to a lot of places. It's great to be around to support people.”
A profound moment for Bruce was hearing teams say, “You know, I've needed to have this conversation for months. And I'm just so glad I've had it.”
He believes that part of nurturing our resilience is taking little moments of reflection.
“One of the things I've learned about is the power of the moment,” he explains. “When we take a moment to reflect on ourselves, to look after ourselves and be kind to ourselves for just a moment, we can do a whole lot. It helps us keep going to serve other people.”
How do resilience pros like Bruce stay resilient? He praises his supportive and bonded team.
“My team and I are really fortunate that we're able to spend time together talking about the things that happened to us in the course of our work. We can help each other process those and stay resilient so we are able to keep on supporting people,” says Bruce.
He also attributes his faith and taking time for laughter to keep his spirts up.
Bruce says he is proud to work at Fraser Health. “I’ve met so many great people. I realize that I'm part of something that matters. I'm glad to be on a team working to support people.”