Promote employee self care
To reach those workers who might be hesitant to slow down and address their emotional responses, Menco suggests appealing to their desire to provide good patient care.
"Healthcare providers are very conscientious people and want to do their best, so what might drive a healthcare provider to make sure they're providing good patient care is to emphasize that taking care of themselves is part of that care," says Menco.
Typical behaviors after a traumatic event can include anxiety, irritability, trouble concentrating, fatigue, discussing the event repetitively, and phobias. It's up to managers, human resources, and leadership to be on the lookout for employees who may be struggling and suggest EAP sessions to those who may benefit.
In EAP sessions, people have the opportunity to share their experiences. One of the major lessons is community. On Thursday and Friday last week, MGH put together a healing event with volunteers offering massages, meditation sessions, yoga, and other opportunities to help staff rejuvenate.
People came together and allowed themselves to breath, says Stidsen. They, along with their patients, are only just beginning to digest what happened.
By allowing them to take that time for themselves, leadership is giving staff the opportunity to heal.