Staff Wellness in Time of Crisis

This is a very nice resource published by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), which is under Health & Human Services (HHS). It walks through the sources of stress during a crisis, the drivers of lasting motivation, a stress audit checklist, tips on training and some pearls of wisdom for leadership. Also contains a link to a fully recorded webcast.

Mini Modules to Relieve Stress for Healthcare Workers Responding to COVID-19: Leading Towards Organizational Wellness in an Emergency Article on Nursing Burnout Tips

While it might seem impossible during a time of crisis, there are actions you can take to address your staff's well-being and ease the burden of stress and nurse burnout in other areas. While all of these strategies may not be feasible or applicable to your work environment, they address areas of concern for healthcare professionals that might be adding to their emotional burden.

  • Housing, meals, and transportation: Consider housing accommodations for clinicians fearful of exposing vulnerable family members to COVID-19. As workloads intensify, support transitions to breaks and can transition home with healthy grab-and-go meals, gift cards for meal delivery or credits for transportation services.
  • Support debriefing/emotional support: Use existing resources, such as chaplaincy, spiritual care and employee assistance programs to support debriefing after high stress or traumatic events. Acknowledge extraordinary circumstances through continuous awareness and frequent interventions, such as well-being huddles before or after shifts or a Going Home checklist.
  • Reduce psychological burden: An effort should be made to remove nonessential tasks, education and electronic documentation. If possible, bundle information and tier dissemination so clinicians are not consistently interrupted throughout their day.
  • Be a present, compassionate listener: At times, being a listening ear has more value than solving the problem. Whether through listening sessions, group debriefing or one on ones, the current situation requires compassionate listening so fears and anxieties are expressed.
Author: Lesly Kelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a nurse researcher with a background in burnout, resilience, and well-being. She is nurse Scientist for CommonSpirit Health and associate clinical professor for the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University in Phoenix.​


Kaiser-Permanente HR Resource Playbook - NEW!

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift, this playbook is meant to offer useful tools for you and your leadership teams to make your workplace as safe as possible and support your employees in the best way possible.

Click here

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