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Tips for Helping Front Line Staff Manage Stress

Posted on by CATALYSIS

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from Dr. Lee Erikson

  • Set up a Coping with Stress Hub on our intranet
  • Communicated widely about our EAP mental health resources
  • Set up several on line resources with links to apps for meditation, mindfulness, exercise, tai chi, etc.
  • The psychiatry department is offering telemedicine counseling sessions to staff
  • Launched a series of short self-care videos

Lurie Children’s from Laura Westley

It really is a challenge.  To date, the impact of COVID19 to Lurie Children’s has been a dramatic decrease in census- we are currently at a 60% census  point vs. the 90% just a few weeks ago. Our facility had been cancelling 30-40 nurses on a daily basis.  Our adult facility partners are in a much different position currently, however everyone is impacted by the constant messaging/ reporting in the media.

Our organization has been in Incident command for nearly 4 weeks, I will review a few things we have in place, in no particular order.  I hope some of it may be helpful.

  • Incident Command
    • Each meeting begins with a current state of our local pandemic- #tested, those +, etc.  The actual numbers have been helpful to gain perspective
  • Daily reports from incident command with a general overview sent as a global message throughout the organization
  • Directed messages to leaders in the various areas of the organization
    • My areas fall under the operations function of incident command.  We receive a more detailed summary of discussion points before changes have been implemented.  These are shared with area leaders who use them as discussion points with their teams.  Any specific questions are then returned to incident command for review and are typically responded to within the same day.
  • Weekly virtual Town Hall meetings facilitated by the CEO have been in place since we have been in incident command- about a month.
  • These have been augmented by additional virtual Leadership Town Hall meetings, facilitated by some of our executive leaders,  intended to help leaders better support their teams
    • To date, topics have included HR issues and questions
    • Change management
    • Next week will feature our psych team talking about personal resiliency
  • The organization has an “ALL Connect” site intended to be an all-inclusive site for resources
    • HR links with information as people are furloughed
    • Current screening information
    • Links to CDC and IDPH for up to date broad view information
  • COVID19 email link has been created for staff to ask questions- many times they are themed and used for upcoming Town Hall topics
  • Marketing and PR team is represented in Incident Command and are responsible for creating global messaging for the organization and community
  • COVID19 link on the organization web site-

The messaging has been heavy on the value of the care provider and the intent to keep them safe.  Departmentally, it has been helpful to group messaging to minimize a potential overwhelming impact to staff.  Visibility, availability, and timely response have been most effective.

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