The pandemic has left so much devastation in its wake, particularly in our frontline healthcare workers. Here are some facts and statistics everyone needs to know:
- Across 65 studies involving 97,333 healthcare workers in 21 nations, 21.7 percent reported experiencing moderate depression, 22.1 reported experiencing anxiety, and 21.5 percent reported experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Healthcare workers constantly face moral injury and ethical dilemmas while providing care within difficult healthcare contexts. An example is when a frontline healthcare worker had to decide which patients could get a ventilator or oxygen, especially if there were limited supplies available. No one ever has to make these kinds of devastating decisions, and when they do, it can cause so much trauma.
- Healthcare practitioners are more likely to suffer in silence and not ask for help because of the perceived stigma around stress and mental illnesses. Many of them also worry about the possibility of their medical licenses being withdrawn.
These are just some hard realities are healthcare workers face daily. If your business is booming or if you are one of the key decisions in a successful company, there are so many things you can do to help support and empower our healthcare workers, especially since we are still combating the pandemic. Here are some things you can do.
Help with their schooling
If you know some med or nursing students struggling with their tuition or school fees, consider adopting some of them as scholars. If there are students taking classes to become certified nursing assistants (CNAs), support and empower them by helping lift their financial burdens a bit. These students are seeing what’s happening in the world right now, and many of them might be inclined to leave the profession completely. Show them that it’s worth it by believing in their dreams and reminding them that they are needed, now and in the future.
Partner with hospitals
You can’t just presume to know what our healthcare workers need during this time. The only people who will know are the ones who are in the hospitals and clinics all the time, taking care of patients and seeing how the COVID-19 numbers ebb and flow. To truly know how to help, consider partnering with a hospital in your area that you know is struggling with supplies and in the financial aspect. Here are some things you can ask:
- What supplies and equipment do you need, and how can our business help provide for it?
- How are your staff and healthcare workers doing? How is their mental health? Is it possible for us to provide mental health support without them having to worry about losing their license to work? (You can also consult with legal professionals about this.)
- Are there employee rooms in your facility that need refurbishing or fixing? Giving the healthcare workers a wonderful and relaxing place to rest might just be the oasis they need during a long shift.
Instead of just handing them a check, partnering with hospitals will make your support feel more personal and sincere. Visit the hospital yourself and ask how your company can extend help.
Give them a place to stay if they need to quarantine
If there are healthcare workers in the hospital who have families and can’t necessarily go home whenever they are exposed to positive cases, consider providing them with a clean and safe place to stay whenever they have to quarantine. If your business has an extra property, consider turning it into a space where healthcare workers can quarantine while they wait out the required number of days.
This kind of help is significant because the Omicron variant is so much more transmissible than other variants. If a healthcare worker has an immunocompromised family member, they might need a place to stay so that they can keep their loved one safe from the virus.
Provide them with tech tools
Another way businesses can support healthcare workers is by helping them upgrade their tech tools and tech support. We live in a time when automation software and AI technology can make almost any task easier and more convenient. By helping healthcare workers gain access to these tools, we make their day-to-day jobs more manageable. At the same time, we give them room to focus on what they do best, which is to care for patients.
Our healthcare workers have been the superheroes of the pandemic, and we need to do all that we can to support, help, and empower them. If you or your business has the resources to do so, do not hesitate to lend a helping hand. They deserve it.