2020 has been a rough year for everyone, but medical professionals have really dealt with a lot. From having your practice closed down for an undetermined time, to struggling with getting protective equipment, and just trying to deal with all the COVID-19 stressors that have piled up, doctors and other healthcare professionals are struggling.
According to a recent article in Physician’s Weekly, many healthcare workers are dealing with posttraumatic stress symptoms, particularly after the acute phase of a pandemic, which is throughout the actual pandemic. As Sophie M. Allan of the UK’s University of East Anglia says, “More research is needed that [focuses] on COVID-19 specifically and looks at the mental health of health care workers longer-term.”
This brings up a very relevant concern in today’s world. As a healthcare professional, how is your mental health holding up? What about your staff? It’s essential to pay attention to these things now, because we know that the pandemic is definitely causing extra stress and that needs to be addressed.
Many healthcare workers forcus so much on others that they forget to take time and examine themselves. How can you do that? Here are a few ways to ensure you stay on top of your and your staff’s mental health.
Have Regular Check-ins
It’s a good idea to set aside a time each week or even daily, to touch base with your staff. Keep track of how everyone is doing and don’t be afraid to let them know if you’re feeling stressed or out of sorts. The more open you are with them, the more they’ll open up, as well.
Just having other people to talk to can help alleviate some of the stress that comes from the hard work that you’re putting in right now.
Encourage your staff to keep a journal of how they feel. This can be done by presenting them with journals and nice pens, or just let them know that you’ll be doing this and hope they’ll pick it up as well. Journaling is just writing down your thoughts each day. It’s helpful to get it out of your head and down on paper.
In fact, studies show that journaling is great for stress relief and can even improve your physical health. If you want to take another step toward better mental health, then journaling is a great way to do it.
Ease Up On the Workload
Easier said than done, but if you can outsource some things, it’s often worth it. This allows you to work on actually focusing on the patients. You may outsource the scheduling, accounting, or any other issues that keep cropping up. For many healthcare professionals, social media and writing a blog can be an extra source of stress, but this is something else to outsource.
Free your mind up by getting rid of some of the tasks on your to do list and you’ll feel better. It’s less stressful to have someone else take over for you.
While the pandemic may be stressful for everyone, the people rely on medical professionals to be as safe as possible. You are under even more stress than the average person, so you need to ensure that you can care for your patients properly.
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