How can frontline healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses be supported as they experience a lot of anxiety, distress, and high sense of responsibility.
Brief crisis interventions for helping Front – line healthcare workers: (anxiety, distress and related thoughts like high sense of responsibility) 1. Mindfulness – Plan at mid-day break or end of day – 5 minutes Mindfulness body scan meditation. Observe your thoughts in a non-judgmental way. Distance yourself from your negative thoughts, rather than getting entangled with them. 2. Asking questions to ourselves – What is the effect of telling myself this thought? What would I tell someone else if he/she viewed this situation in this way? 3. Cost – Benefit analysis? ITCH problem solving: Identify problem, Think of solutions, Choose a solution, How well did it work? Eg: Refusing unwanted and unreasonable requests such as prolonged working hours 4. Reduce the pressure to eliminate stress completely – just keep it under control. Try to practice acceptance using the ‘half-smile technique’ , and do what needs to be done in the given circumstances. 5. Distress Tolerance – Distracting with other sensations like cold shower, Positive self-talk/posters at work-site, practicing imagery of an improved situation 6. Hope box in a drawer besides you at workplace: · Letters, cards, or printed email from carers · Pictures with positive memories · Success documents (report card, certificates, awards) · Printed lyrics to a meaningful song, quotes or verses, artwork, jokes, jewelry · Favorite book, magazine 7. Coping cards with 3 components – Automatic thought with adaptive response – it will be over soon; once I label my stress from 1 to 10, I can watch it go down, Coping strategies – take a breath, Reminder – why am I doing this job? 8. Safety Plan – Senior Professionals can be contacted and discussed with.
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