Affect is the external display of mood or emotion that is felt inside each of us. It can be flat and expressionless as in a mime or clown or it can be very animated as in Jim Carey, the actor. Either way it is the display of emotion from our mood that gives us affect. We see this clearly displayed in moods from depression to mania. This is also true in the health care setting. Attempting to care for more people with less resources of medical personnel feeds the chaos.
Health care currently is in a manic state as we face the challenges of the Affordable Care Act. I find it interesting that pushing the public into this state of mania is long overdue. There are no perfect solutions yet many debates as to how to meet the lofty goals and enlist patients to comply reveals many challenges. In the midst of all this are the nurses and workhorses attempting to push forward and develop meaningful strategic ideas to meet the directives of the legislation. All this while caring for the increasing baby boomer population threatening to overrun our current care. Who in their right mind would knowingly go into medicine or nursing at this phase along with how many are we currently burning out in this futile attempt? What are our choices and where do we begin to make sense of this crazy world we live in? It is time to have each and every person take accountability for their roles in keeping health care safe and financially sound.
Since Apathy or loss of interest is another key term that comes with depression, how do we keep interested in and cover all the information that keeps coming at us daily. Those in the medical and nursing professions wonder how long it will take before exhaustion and depression set in. I for one typically speak my mind. Not only do nurses need to step up to the plate and consider a greater role in collaborative care if the health care mania is going to have a fighting chance, but the patients themselves must become a consumer of health care. This will take a concerted team effort as this is certainly not the time for Apathy or Depression to set in as we face one of the biggest challenges in health care history.