During this time of need, it is especially important for you to take care of yourself while caring for Coronavirus patients. As healthcare workers, you have the gifts of caring and empathy and it is time to pause and focus on you and your team. While you may feel the need to continue caring for patients even when your shift is over, it is important to get your rest and continue healthy habits. The stress of Coronavirus is being felt throughout the medical community and AB Staffing is here to support you through this time.
Signs of Stress
Stress is the body’s way of telling us something harmful is nearby. Whether real or perceived, stress causes physical reactions like increased heart rate, faster breathing, tightening muscles, and increased blood pressure. Coronavirus is a real threat that you’re facing daily. In general, we know that a person who is stressed is more likely to get sick. The addition of the real threat of the virus has set up the perfect storm for healthcare workers.
Take Care of Yourself While Caring for Coronavirus Patients
Speak with your manager and co-workers about protocol and check in on each other regularly. Encourage your teams to talk proactively about the crisis. If they are not already, ask your management team to offer you the following education.
- Informing healthcare workers of the details of the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and what they can do to protect themselves (proper hand washing, masks, etc.)
- Knowing when and how to screen patients and their families
- Learning appropriate times to quarantine and isolate
- Addressing ethical questions of decision-making for triage and surge capacity issues so they feel empowered to make decisions
- Managing resources, including PPE and people
- Coping with the isolation from family and friends, and preparing families for your absence and/or isolation
- Offering counseling to all staff
In addition, we encourage our travel nurses and medical professionals to communicate.
Communication throughout this crisis is one of the best ways we can all stay working as a team.
- Keep in contact with your AB Staffing Recruiter. Let us know what is going on so we can be your advocate
- Check in with family and friends via social media, video calls, and phone calls
- Talk about your feelings and experiences with colleagues
- Take time to de-stress through breathing techniques and meditation
What Not to Do During COVID-19
To take care of yourself during COVID-19 while caring for others, try not to skip breaks, and instead use the time as a chance to recharge. Grab a healthy snack, go to a quiet place, and rest your mind if only for a few minutes. Try to avoid drinking too much caffeine. While it can keep you going for the short-term, too much causes other issues and eventually, you will crash. You can’t help anyone if you’re not feeling well.
During this time, it may be tempting to have an alcoholic drink when you’re off the clock. We understand this time is overwhelming and there can be tendencies to blame yourself or others and feel out of control. While one drink is okay, we encourage you to find bright spots in your life. Go for a walk. Sit in the sun. Watch the sunrise or sunset. Video chat with loved ones. Connect with the community and nature in different ways than you may have done prior to this crisis.
For all you’re doing to take care of others, it is exceedingly important to take care of yourself and allow your colleagues to do the same. While the need is great, it is important to not work longer than your shift. You need your rest and your patients need you as focused as you can be. It may be challenging to get sleep, but it is important for your mental health and physical health. When you’re overtired, your body and mind don’t function well. You cannot serve your patients and staff if you are not mentally and physically healthy yourself.
Finally, remember why you became a medical professional and the importance and meaning of your work. You truly are making a difference every day and we couldn’t fight this without you. We need and appreciate you on the front lines. What you are doing is important and meaningful and we cannot express our gratitude enough.
If you are a medical professional, we need you now more than ever. Contact us today at 888.515.3900 to learn more about AB Staffing opportunities.