The Call - Fall 2013 - (Page 16)
F E AT U R E
IS YOUR 9-1-1 CENTER?
By Jennifer VanderStelt, ENP, MBA
LOOK AT HEALTH AND
WELLNESS IN THE
As 9-1-1 professionals, when we hear
the words "health" and "wellness"
many of us roll our eyes and cringe
in anticipation of the soon-tofollow lecture regarding our weight,
eating, and exercise habits (or lack
thereof). While these factors are
major contributors to our health and
wellness, lack of knowledge and false
perceptions of what health and wellness
means may lead us to ignore other key
factors that we are exposed to every
day. It's time to widen the range of
our perception and seek to educate
ourselves and others. Let's start with
asking, "What exactly is wellness?"
and, "What can we do to achieve it?"
According The University of Illinois
McKinley Health Center, "Wellness is a
state of optimal wellbeing that is oriented
toward maximizing an individual's
potential" (2011). Wellness is not merely
being free of illness or injury; wellness is a
complex set of elements that contribute
to quality of life. These elements include,
but are not limited to the following:
* Emotional: Your ability to react
and respond to intense and
chaotic situations; the ability
to feel compassion; the ability
to be empathetic, and display
and have feelings of trust, selfconfidence, and self-efficacy.
* Intellectual: Your ability to
make decisions, learn, and
grow from experiences.
| THE CALL | FALL 2013
* Environmental: Your ability
and motivation to maintain and
preserve your environment.
* Physical: Your body size, susceptibility
to illness and disease, sensory acuity,
and personal lifestyle behaviors.
* Spiritual: Your personal belief system,
values, purpose, and meaning in life.
* Social: Your ability to establish
and maintain inter-personal
relationships, maintain objectivity,
adapt to various and unique social
situations, and appreciate and
respect individual differences.
All of these elements are significant
to the wellness of those in the 9-1-1
profession; however, emotional wellness
is a top element in job performance and
personal development. The concept
of burn-out has long been discussed
among mental health professionals and
even more so among those working
in the 9 -1-1 field. More recently the
psychological risks associated with the
exposure to secondary trauma have been
recognized as a serious problem industrywide. (See 9-1-1's Future: It All Comes Down
to the Wellbeing of the Frontline 9-1-1 Pro
by Jim Marshall, in this issue of The Call.)
In addition, risk factors for
susceptibility to illness are significantly
greater for 9-1-1 professionals than
in most other professions due the
sedentary nature of the job for
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Call - Fall 2013
From the CEO
How “Well”thy is Your 9-1-1 Center?
Stress in the 9-1-1 Center
Don’t Stress Out — Reach Out
Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
The Call - Fall 2013