Dealing with today’s work pressures is having a serious impact on the well-being of our frontline healthcare workers. Nurse burnout is always a significant concern but the COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the level of stress and its impact to mental health.
Facing the Extraordinary
As a nurse leader, it’s important to seek and offer methods to cope with the extraordinary stressors and prevent this strain from decreasing job satisfaction or, more importantly, the health of your nurses. Fostering a culture of wellness and providing your staff with the tools they need to succeed can allay these pressures and avoid burnout.
Today’s “new normal”, however, demands unique and novel solutions and ideas. Here are some remarkable ways nurse leaders and hospitals have offered support:
- Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Manhattan converted a former COVID-19 triage tent into “a serene oasis”, a place for their staff to destress, complete with music and aromatherapy.
- Nurses and staff at Abrazo Health benefit from calming meditation and other stress-relieving videos, courtesy of the Sufi Psychology Association and the ‘Caring for our Caregivers’ initiative, which donated tablets for this stress-relieving option.
- Boston Medical Center is using the practice of mindfulness to reduce stress and promote wellbeing, offering free sessions to their entire staff as well as their families.
- Augusta University Health in Georgia now offers their staff “mental health pods”. These pods offer a space where staff can have “moments of respite from the intensity of being the frontline caregivers.”
Staying Healthy with Technology
Technology can also play an influential role in supporting your nurses. Mobile apps like Heroes Health offer a simple way for healthcare workers to track and manage their mental health. Fabulous, a daily self-care app, helps you create and maintain better habits as you adjust to changes in your work-life balance. Or, simply scheduling a virtual coffee date with friends or family thru web-based solutions like Zoom or FaceTime will certainly boost spirits and lower stress.
And, of course, offering nurses the ability to self-schedule with a flexible platform like ShiftWizard allows them to take charge of their own schedules and better cope with irregular shifts. Empowering your nurses to create a “healthy schedule” that best suits their work-life balance needs.
Make wellness a priority for yourself and your staff. It plays a significant role in keeping your staff happy.
Here are some additional resources to all around wellness:
- American Nurses Foundation: Well Being Initiative
- American Medical Association: Managing Mental Health During COVID-19
- Centers for Disease Control: Coping with Stress
- National Academy of Medicine: Strategies to Support the Health and Well-Being of Clinicians During the COVID-19 Outbreak
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