By Gabe Sanders Ph.D., NSCA-CSCS
Many people, including myself, have a simplistic viewpoint of healthcare workers. We think of doctors, nurses, therapists, and others as specialized professionals that take care of other people. While they are essential for the health and wellbeing of society, they have their own very personal physical and emotional needs that are repeatedly unmet.
Often times, the personal care these workers need is overlooked by many people, including themselves. To help improve the healthcare worker’s wellbeing, it may be useful for employers to implement workplace wellness programs for these essential workers during the pandemic, and long after the pandemic is over!
Workplace wellness should have access to self-help resources
Recently published research in the scientific journal called Psychiatric Annals outlines a program implemented by a health care system and two academically affiliated hospital systems in New York. The health and wellbeing program focused on improving physical and emotional wellbeing by providing emotional support.
The goal of the treatment or program was to enhance pathways for faculty, healthcare providers, and trainees to obtain individual and group treatment and to have access to high-quality self-help resources. While the program is still underway, the hospital system witnessed a very successful improvement in workplace wellness for the employees. The key to the success was an interdisciplinary collaboration between departments, staff, and healthcare workers.
We are here to support you!
A big takeaway for many of us is to identify family, friends, and neighbors that are healthcare workers and make sure they know we are here to support them. Support can come in the form of social support, emotional support, personal availability, or even pre-made meals for their family to alleviate some of the at-home burden healthcare workers have.
The list of ways to help are many, but the key is to be active and intentional when helping people throughout this difficult time!
Spray, Amanda M., et al. “Development of Wellness Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic Response.” Psychiatric Annals 50.7 (2020): 289-294.
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