Employee Health & Well-Being

Angie SzumlinskiHealth

During this time of uncertainty, frontline healthcare workers are facing additional burdens, not only at work but also outside of work.  Many caregivers are working longer hours/extra shifts and are anxious about the lack of necessary personal protective equipment. These challenges increase stress the caregiver may be experiencing as they are also concerned about contracting the virus and bringing it home to their loved ones. In an effort to provide support for our staff members as we journey through this pandemic and cope with COVID 19 challenges, facilities may consider:

  1.  Encourage staff to take advantage of mental health benefits (counseling, hotlines EAP, etc.)
    1. Encourage staff to reach out to the Human Resource department for guidance
    1. Post the national Disaster Distress Helpline 800-985-5990 in the break room and near the time clock
    1. Seek out local resources and post contact information
  2. Ongoing education, in-services related to COVID 19
    1. Provide routine updates on current local conditions and specific details on the transmission of COVID 19 while reinforcing the importance of PPE use, etc.
    1. Identify accurate media sources to obtain information regarding COVID 19 and share these resources with the staff
    1. Encourage staff to participate in ongoing education so they have a sense of contribution and self-worth
    1. Ensure “approachable” leadership; proactively engage in supportive care daily
  3. Activities to address staff morale
    1. Promote an atmosphere of hope; understating controllable situations (Serenity Prayer)
    1. Encourage supportive relationships amongst peers, co-workers, etc. Consider a buddy system
    1. Engage staff in assisting with homemade pizza parties, baking cookies, etc.
    1. Continue to promote employee recognition programs; random acts of kindness
    1. Solicit feedback from family and residents to add to the Wall Board of “Good Deeds”
    1. Engage staff in making homemade hand sanitizer (Google for recipes)
  4. Provide meals during all shifts; food should be stable the entire shift as break times will be flexible
  5. Yoga and meditation breaks
    1. YouTube videos – provide an area such as the therapy gym with mats for break times
  6. Provide motel accommodations for staff who are unable to go home (suspected/positive case at home COVID 19) or are working extra shifts and may need a break
  7. Provide transportation to/from home for staff who are exhausted from picking up extra shifts
  8. Provide grocery items to be sent home with staff; order extra supplies of non-perishable food through your food supplier
  9. Encourage staff to participate in making homemade surgical masks; provide patterns and fabric if possible
    1. Google for patterns and ideas
  10. Encourage staff to not focus on news stories being aired and provide a list of reputable sources where they can get up-to-date/accurate information.
  11. Educate staff on “how” to listen to their body; be alert for telltale signs of stress (lack of sleep, poor dietary habits, increased dependence on alcohol, drugs, etc.) and know when to reach out for help
  12. Encourage staff to partake in activities they enjoy such as listening to music, reading, physical activities
  13. Provide staff with a means to maintain connections with loved ones and friends when working additional hours caring for your residents via phone, Skype, Face Time, etc.

As always, we are here for you as you may also experience a higher level of stress. Don’t go it alone, reach out to friends, co-workers, family or your HealthCap family for support! Be well, stay safe! https://www.ahcancal.org/facility_operations/disaster_pla