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Caring for Frontline Workers
It should not come as a surprise to anyone that COVID-19 is causing burnout in healthcare workers across the nation. As early as the beginning of summer, healthcare companies were looking at scenarios where the fall spike in cases would be larger than the spike the US experienced in early 2020. Our nation continues to pass one grim milestone after another with the increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. While a COVID-19 vaccine may be on the horizon and new treatments are available from Pfizer and Eli Lilly, we are still seeing the virus take its toll on doctors, APPs, nurses, and all other hospital staff.
While medical facilities are continuing to try to care for their staff as well as their patients, the drawn out pandemic has changed the attitude of the general public. Frustrations abound as mask orders, lockdowns and other restrictions are occurring in cities and counties all over the United States.
So what can we do to help our frontline workers? According to a study in JAMA, it boiled down to five key requests:
1. Hear me.
2. Protect me.
3. Prepare me.
4. Support me.
5. Care for me.
Being present so your team can connect with you matters. They want to know you understand what they are dealing with everyday, that you see their needs and struggles, you are listening and you care.
Provide ways for your team to decompress and unload their stress. Offer mental health resources. Utilize your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Behavioral Health counselors. Supporting your team members during this time will help them make it through.
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