This March marks a year since Covid-19 patients first entered U.S. hospitals. With vaccine rollout underway, many are looking forward to a year with fewer Covid-19 cases and a return to some aspects of our pre-Covid lives.
Resource library: Strategies for coping with the Covid-19 challenge
But even as we look ahead, the impact of this crisis will be felt long after vaccines roll out. Clinical workers put themselves at risk as they stood on the frontlines of care delivery during a global pandemic—and many continue to do so today. The physical stress and emotional burden staff took on is immense, and for many, this is just the start of processing the toll of the last year.
As leaders, one of the most important steps you can take for your team is to invest in the time and resources to support recovery.
Recently, 10 Advisory Board experts met to discuss how health care leaders can acknowledge the collective trauma of the last year and bolster the support required for recovery. Here's our guidance for how you can help your team start to heal during—and after—this crisis.
Before addressing recovery, every leader must commit to ensuring staff feel, and are, safe at work. Absent a safe work environment, recovery efforts will not only fall short, but may do more harm than good.
For the past year, staff put their health at risk to care for Covid-19 patients—at times without proper PPE. Now is the time to rebuild trust and ensure everyone feels safe at work.
As leaders, one of the best ways you can do that is transparently communicating about the steps you're keeping to keep your team safe. Then, solicit input from staff to understand whether they have safety concerns and how you can address those head-on.
At this one-year marker, it's an important moment to commemorate the sacrifices clinicians have made over the last year and commit to investing in a comprehensive workforce recovery strategy. Although the crisis is far from over, there are steps you can take now to ensure everyone feels safe at work, help clinicians unpack their experiences, and proactively bolster support over the long haul.
This on-demand series focuses on what we anticipate as the most likely and most immediate stress factors, and the appropriate responses: supporting managers through disruptive change, establishing ongoing feedback and support channels for staff, and prevention and responses to burnout for members of the workforce providing care.
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