A Continuing Crisis
Everyone in the world is hoping for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes, the brave and dedicated healthcare workers in your organization, whose mental and emotional health has been tested daily by the rigors and traumas of COVID care, will take a victory lap. But the battle won’t be over for them.
In his article, “How Organizations Can Impact the Emotional Aftermath of COVID-19,” psychiatrist Gaurava Agarwal, MD, Director of Physician Well Being for Northwestern Medical Group, Chicago and a Peer Coach for VITAL WorkLife, estimates that they will continue to struggle psychologically and emotionally for anywhere from one to two years out. In short, healthcare organizations face a long-term mental health crisis.
The Case for Long-Term Care
In the article, Dr. Agarwal explains how an organizational culture of care for the psychological and emotional well being of clinicians is the answer to the crisis. And a culture of care means that compassion for your workers is built into the way you work. Access to easy-to-use mental healthcare resources; scheduling with an eye toward preventing burnout; teaching everyone on staff to recognize the signs of compassion fatigue, prolonged grief reaction and other issues—these are just a few of the elements of a culture that treats its practitioners as the invaluable resource they are.
In describing what he hopes will become the compassionate “new normal,” Dr. Agarwal also points to some of the lessons the pandemic has taught us—not just about treating the virus, but about organizing work in new ways—like telemedicine—that contribute to clinician well being as well as good outcomes for patients.
Download our article, How Organizations Can Impact the Emotional Aftermath of COVID-19, by Guarava Agarwal, MD, to learn more about how healthcare organizations can take steps to ensure their team members are adequately cared for, in the present and long-term.