I have been hearing the term resilience used more and more in healthcare and have thinking that it works well in the place of the term wellbeing which is now so over used it is almost without meaning.
Resilience is defined at the ability of a material to return to its original shape or form after being bent, stretched or compressed. In human terms it is about how people can cope with and recover from their experiences which can include illness, stress, emotional trauma, and social and cultural deprivation.
So if people’s resilience is high then their ability to cope and manage with whatever life offers them will be heightened. Resilience is the ability to bounce back.
Often nurses are caring for people with long-term conditions so an individual’s resilience or bounce back will help them to find their way and make best use of their resources. Considering someone’s resilience will give you an idea of how they will cope in the future.
Well-being can be defined as a state of health, happiness and prosperity. In the current recession this seems less appropriate and for those with long-term conditions it seems too lightweight and fluffy. Wellbeing feels more like something that you have inherently whereas the positive about resilience is that it can be developed and nutured by a caring environment and the support of those around which makes it relevant to nursing.