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Employee Health During Covid

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in med-surg.

So I am finishing up a paper for my last term of my BSN and it's about how confidential employee mental health services should be available 24/7 for medical staff. I was just curious if anyone has mental health wellness services available (especially for the night shifters)? If so, what form does it take? If you could make a change to your organization in this regard, what would you like to see? Please feel free to comment on anything related to protecting the mental health of nurses during this crisis. Thank you in advance! I really believe this is something that should be addressed across the nation.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Has 9 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

We have several. Our chaplain staff is on the schedule 24/7 and always available to all employees, regardless of religious preference or lack thereof.

We have our EAP program, available to all employees for six free visits with a counselor per year.

We also have a mentoring program with 24/7 volunteers from people on staff at the hospital who have undergone training with Johns Hopkins on therapeutic communication for debriefing after a troubling event at work, such as an unexpected code, medical error, witnessed violence or other things. It is 100% staffed by fellow clinical employees who have themselves gone through something that they could have or did benefit from having a peer to talk to about confidentially.

All three are well utilized here.

Falcon RN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in med-surg.

Thank you Nurse SMS! I am very happy to hear that they are paying attention to the necessity of this!

Do you have any concerns about your privacy when talking with volunteers? Are you limited in what you can discuss because of HIPAA?

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Has 9 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

13 hours ago, Falcon RN said:

Thank you Nurse SMS! I am very happy to hear that they are paying attention to the necessity of this!

Do you have any concerns about your privacy when talking with volunteers? Are you limited in what you can discuss because of HIPAA?

I have not personally utilized them, but I was one of the volunteers and went through the extensive training for the program, which was developed by Johns Hopkins. I would personally have zero concerns about confidentiality due to the training I received and therefore know the others did as well. However, it is completely understandable that some may not feel that same certainty.

There is no limit due to HIPAA due to the nature of the conversation. HIPAA implies sharing info must be on a “need to know” basis. The sharing of this information to assist the caretaker in successfully doing their job, mentally or physically, within the confines of a confidential conversation inside the healthcare setting/institution involved is not a HIPAA breach.

Nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, etc will have PTSD when this is all over. There needs to be some group therapy for everyone taking care of covid patients or the overflow of noncovid patients. It has to be traumatic seeing mass death, especially of coworkers you were just working with a few days/weeks ago.

Falcon RN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in med-surg.

3 hours ago, NurseBlaq said:

Nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, etc will have PTSD when this is all over. There needs to be some group therapy for everyone taking care of covid patients or the overflow of noncovid patients. It has to be traumatic seeing mass death, especially of coworkers you were just working with a few days/weeks ago.

I fear this for nurses. That is a big reason why I am asking about this. I actually switched to a different topic with my paper but I am still asking nurses all across the internet how they are or are not being supported and doing research. I'm trying to spread awareness about this through social media. I might end up writing an article for this site soon.

Resources need to be available and accessible to protect the mental health of these professionals. Everyone is doing what they can right now. I understand that PTSD may just be an inevitable side effect for many but there should be preventative resources everywhere, and nurses (& others in the inter-dis. team) should be able to easily access them due to the high burden of the workload seen in many places these days.

Yes healthcare workers will need care and support after this but mental healthcare will not be forthcoming from for profit hospital systems anytime soon.

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Has 43 years experience. Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Most nurses don't realize that Mental Health support is available from most employers EAP- Employee Assistance Program for work related stress. They can recommend mental health community resources, have mental health related online info and some provide telehealth counseling. Health insurance can be used for longer term counseling too.

Please take advantage as PTSD real concern during these pandemic times.

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