If your healthcare facility is on the front lines of the pandemic, dealing directly with COVID-19 patients day in and day out as we continue to navigate the worldwide crisis, you have an additional problem aside from the virus itself: burnout amongst your staff. With the long hours, stressful working environment, and the constant specter of illness and death overhead, it’s very easy for your nursing staff to experience burnout. The trick is preventing it before it happens. Here’s how:
Check-in with your employees often.
The number-one thing you can do as a supervisor or manager at your healthcare facility to prevent burnout during COVID-19 is to check in with your staff members and check in often. Talk to them face-to-face and find out how they’re coping with things. If you think an employee looks or acts like they’re struggling, approach them about it in a gentle but serious way. From there, you can decide how best to help, whether it’s with a little time off or a chat with a member of human resources, for instance.
Make sure they’re getting plenty of rest.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep, or even a nap, to help the body cope with stressful situations. When a nurse doesn’t get enough rest, their job performance will falter. That’s not something you can afford during normal times, let alone a global pandemic. Make sure that your entire staff is getting enough rest — try to minimize long overtime hours to ensure that employees are getting enough time at home to rest and recharge.
Use scheduling to your advantage.
Scheduling wisely is a good way to make sure employees aren’t working too long of hours, or working too often. Schedule your nurses’ shifts in a way that ensures they have plenty of time away from work to relax. If you can, avoid having daytime nurses suddenly transition to the night shift, or vice versa — this kind of abrupt scheduling change isn’t good for the body and mind, and you don’t want to put any added stress on your staff.
Help your employees stay connected.
Nurses can benefit greatly from talking to one another about their shared experience — that’s true whether we’re in a pandemic or not. Encourage your staff members to talk to one another and help each other out in whatever ways they can. Make the break room a comfortable space that offers an oasis from the busy care floor, where nurses can go to take a breather or discuss things with their coworkers if they so choose.
Need Extra Help During COVID-19?
Sometimes, making sure that your existing staff doesn’t get burnt out means adding on additional nurses to lighten the load. That’s where we come in. Contact BOS Medical if you need some extra help as the pandemic wears on.