Recommendations for Health Care Workers
March 20, 2020
Managing Health Care Workers’ Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak
Excerpt from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Providers should engage in these behaviors:
- Self-monitoring and pacing
- Regular check-ins with colleagues, family, and friends
- Working in partnerships or in teams
- Brief relaxation/stress-management breaks
- Regular peer consultation and supervision
- Time-outs for basic bodily care and refreshment
- Regularly seeking out accurate information and mentoring to assist in making decisions
- Keeping anxieties conscribed to actual threats
- Doing their best to maintain helpful self-talk and avoid overgeneralizing fears
- Focusing their efforts on what is within their power
- Acceptance of situations they cannot change
- Fostering a spirit of fortitude, patience, tolerance, and hope
At the same time, providers should avoid:
- Working too long by themselves without checking in with colleagues
- Working “round the clock” with few breaks
- Feeling that they are not doing enough
- Excessive intake of sweets and caffeine
- Engaging in self-talk and attitudinal obstacles to self-care, such as:
- "It would be selfish to take time to rest."
- "Others are working around the clock, so should I."
- "The needs of survivors are more important than the needs of helpers."
- "I can contribute the most by working all the time."
- "Only I can do..."