If working in healthcare wasn’t stressful enough, the novel coronavirus pandemic causing COVID-19 infections has been a significant source of stress for doctors, nurses and their patients. Find out how you can manage stress and anxiety working in the medical field and how you can care for anxious patients.
Top Ways Healthcare Workers Can Help Their Anxious Patients
- Create a relaxing environment with a special focus on the waiting room and exam rooms, using natural light and warm colors. Soothing music or a television can also help calm people.
- Prominently post signs explaining your pandemic safety protocols. Patients might not feel comfortable having to wait first to ask someone how you are preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
- Understand body language and note patients’ nonverbal cues showing they are feeling anxious. You can hire consultants to train your staff on body language interpretation.
- Begin the appointment by previewing what will happen and why. This helps give patients a sense of control, since they know what to expect out of their situation.
- Ask patients questions about their interests or hobbies to set them at ease. Talking about something other than the reason for their visit to the doctor can help patients relax.
- Remember to take breaks periodically. Pause for a moment between appointments, so you don’t feel so much stress between patient encounters.
This infographic was created by Specialdocs, a concierge medical group
Tips for Healthcare Workers to Manage Anxiety From On-the-Job Stress
The pandemic has caused a lot of stress for healthcare workers — on and off the clock. As much as 71% of healthcare workers have reported experiencing mental distress as COVID-19 infections spread across the world.
However, employees in the medical field already experience plenty of stressful situations in their daily routines. Here are some suggestions for healthcare workers to minimize and manage their work-related anxiety:
- Practice self-care when not on the job. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first.
- Working in healthcare, make a point of eating healthy meals and exercising regularly.
- Get sufficient rest. Learn about sleep hygiene if you don’t feel refreshed in the morning.
- Access wellness and mental health resources — including yoga, meditation and counseling. Your employer might offer such services.
- Set aside time to talk with friends, family or colleagues when you start to feel overwhelmed.
- Remember the wisdom of accepting that there are some circumstances over which you simply have no control.
Self-Care Is Imperative for People Who Take Care of Patients
No one can work in healthcare for long without regard for their needs for sufficient sleep, nutrition and downtime. Otherwise, they run the risk of burnout. That’s why it’s important to prioritize self-care. If you don’t properly take care of yourself, you aren’t much use to patients or your medical colleagues.
Employees who learn to better manage their anxiety from job-related stress and develop skills to soothe patients who are feeling anxious will play an important role in improving the healthcare industry. They’ll also have a more rewarding career, knowing they’re doing their best to look after those under their care. Be sure to consult the accompanying resource for further information on this prevalent topic.
Author bio: Andrew Bonner is Director of Marketing at Specialdocs Consultants. Bonner has over 15 years of marketing experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Specialdocs, he served as Marketing Director for two mid-sized physician groups, driving significant growth through successful lead acquisition, customer engagement and ad creation/placement strategies. Bonner is committed to improving the professional and personal lives of physicians ready to make the transition to the Specialdocs concierge model.