Humans are not machines – our capacity for empathy and sympathy is a huge part of what makes us human. When faced with tragedy, our healthcare professionals are just as likely to experience grief as anyone. However, the necessity of their skillset makes providing them with coping mechanisms essential to avoid worsening the existing healthcare shortage.
Fortunately, there are a few resources available for our front-line healthcare workers.
#1: Online Grief Counseling
One of the most readily available assets for healthcare workers grieving for the loss of a patient or friend is actually speaking to someone. Grief counseling is a common tool for those who have experienced loss, regardless of profession. While such counseling is traditionally performed in person, this is not always an option depending on the circumstances. Online counseling is a viable alternative for those healthcare professionals with schedules that do not allow for commutes.
#2: Bereavement Leave
All too often, the grief of healthcare professionals has to do with personal loss rather than professional. The loss of friends or family can make it difficult to power through their work. When this happens, it is not unreasonable for them to need time to come to terms with their loss. Bereavement leave is a non-negotiable right afforded to most employees that allows them paid time off to tend to their tragedies and have time to recover emotionally and mentally.
Among healthcare workers are the emergency medical teams that operate ambulances and serve as first responders to injuries and illnesses. As a result, they are the first exposed to the critical wounds of patients and are likely to experience a death before they even reach the hospital. Being exposed to this loss of life can easily burn away at resolve, which is why programs like EMTLife exist. Paramedics can use the program to offer advice and experiences that help cope with grief.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has provided tips and information about grief and how to recognize it. Additionally, they have posted information and offered presentations on healthy coping mechanisms. While not exclusively for healthcare professionals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attending a presentation like this can offer some helpful guidance on finding your own way through the grief you are dealing with.
#5: ForYOU Team
A support group designed specifically for healthcare workers, the ForYOU Team can be a highly effective tool for coping with grief. The group offers resources through counseling and provides resources to the people enrolled in the program. The goal is to not only help you come to terms with your grief but to restore your confidence in your profession. The ForYOU Team is an alternative to the EMTLife program for a broader range of healthcare professionals rather than just the first responders.
Find Quality Healthcare Positions
Finding a place in the world of healthcare can be a challenge. Finding a place that can provide the resources necessary to cope with and move past grief is even more complicated. There is a shortage of healthcare workers right now, making everyone that exists a precious resource that needs to be appropriately valued.
If you are looking to hire, you need to be willing to accommodate your professionals’ need to recover from a loss. Therefore, if you are looking for a position, you will want to find an employer open to these resources.
We at Healthcare Recruiters International are here to serve as the middle ground. We focus on the placement of healthcare professionals in open positions with compatible employers. So, whether you are hiring or looking to get hired, contact us today and see what we can offer.