How to Support Your Medical Unit As California COVID Cases Continue to Surge

As the number of COVID-19 cases in California continues to rise, it is vital that you continue to support your medical unit. Remain visible and help with patient care whenever possible. Let your team know that you are available and supporting their efforts. Be honest, transparent, and remain calm. There is no sugarcoating of this virus, so tell the truth and give your team hopes that you will get through the crisis. Supporting your employees who are probably going through the most challenging experience of their professional careers is critical, and here are a few ways you can help them.

Continuing COVID-19 Education

As a leader, you need to ensure that your staff remains educated on the proper ways to care for COVID-19 patients. Review safe triaging procedures such as non-face-to-face options with your unit. Continue precaution education and the appropriate use of required personal protective equipment (PPE) and donning of protective gear. Remember to review proper nasal swabbing techniques too.

Communication

Keep your medical unit up to date on pertinent information, process changes, and upcoming events. It is also crucial to offer your staff kudos to keep their mental health intact during these difficult days. Remember that your team needs open, honest communication from you during this pandemic. If you are running low on masks, admit it, and ask for assistance in managing the problem. Consider using a daily COVID-19 email to provide updates on departmental changes, numbers of people testing positive for the virus in your facility, and the current level of critical equipment and supplies. Your team will appreciate having a place to reach out with questions and concerns while knowing they will receive a response.

Support

As news reports about young and healthy frontline medical workers getting ill with the virus continue to spread, it is more vital than ever to support and help manage your team’s stress. It is an unprecedented stressful time to be in health care. As a frontrunner, you must ensure that you do as much as possible to support your medical unit employees’ mental health. Consider using the following:

  • Flexible scheduling options
  • Monitoring how much time each employee is caring for COVID-19 patients
  • Providing transparent sick and return-to-work policies
  • Limiting all nonessential emails, calls, staff requirements
  • Free child and pet care
  • Online resources to support mental health

Encourage Your Unit to Share Their Experience

During this pandemic, your medical unit team members are interacting with COVID-19 patients frequently. You must ensure that they have a way to share their experiences, whether in person or through writing. Giving your nurses and other medical professionals this opportunity will help them validate the difficult work and reduce the emotional burden they might be carrying. When you allow them to recognize their work value, it will help sustain them during this crisis. Encourage those stories about heroism, compassion, and skill during these challenging times.

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