By Eric Bourque
Health care can be a stressful field to work in, but there are things people can do to cope better with what they face on the job, says a psychologist who is providing workshops geared towards health-care workers, including a couple of sessions in Yarmouth County.
Billed as Lovin’ Your Workplace (and the people in it), the workshop is to be presented Aug. 6 and Aug. 8 at the Ye Olde Argyler Lodge. The Aug. 6 workshop is full and it looked as if the second one would fill up as well.
Dr. Wendy Nickerson, a licensed psychologist living in Arizona but with roots in southwestern Nova Scotia, says there is a need for this type of training, given the response to the initial Argyle session, which was sold out within hours.
Dr. Nickerson – the founder of International Health Coaching Enterprises – is co-hosting the workshop with Lisette Jones, owner of ThinkSmart Training and Consulting of Shelburne County.
“She’s doing some parts and I’m doing some parts,” Dr. Nickerson said.
This is the first time this workshop is being held in this area, she said. A newspaper notice last summer letting people know she was available for workshops didn’t generate any response. She attributes the interest shown this time to things that have happened in health care in recent months, including strike action by nurses in Halifax and the fallout from that.
The workshop to be offered in Argyle – and also planned for Aug. 13 at White Point Beach – covers several topics, but Dr. Nickerson says there is a line she uses that pretty well sums up the philosophy behind it all: “You should not have to suffer in order to earn a living.”
If people have the coping skills and a mindset where they’re looking for the positive “and if everybody in the organization does that, it just creates a huge shift in terms of the environment of the workplace,” she said.
Aside from the workshops for health-care workers, she is planning presentations for teenagers and adults dealing with excessive stress in Barrington Aug. 19, in Shelburne Aug. 20.
Dr. Nickerson grew up in Woods Harbour and still has family in that area. After studying at Acadia University, she went to Florida and earned a doctorate in clinical psychology. Over the years she has, among other things, taught and trained at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral and provided employment assistance programming to government organizations.
Based on her own experience, she says she knows about stress and so she can relate to what other people might be going through.
Her plan was to stay in Nova Scotia for eight weeks offering workshops and presentations, but she said she would stay longer if needed.
For more information: www.internationalhealthcoachingenterprises.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-229-1537.