COVID-19 Resources for Nurses
Healthcare depends on nurses, even in the best of times, and during the COVID-19 pandemic our society has come to depend on nurses and healthcare workers even more. This public health emergency has increased demand for nurses nationwide to help combat the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Unfortunately, many nurses around the country are feeling some acute negative effects from dealing with the pandemic. From persisting PPE shortages to long hours of arduous work, nurses are dealing with a lot of pressure.
While many feel the need to “power through” and keep going to help provide the best possible care for patients, it’s important to remember your needs, too. With the extra pressure of providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to forget to take care of your basic needs.
Take time to properly don and doff PPE and practice good hand hygiene to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. It’s also important to remember to get adequate water, nutrition, rest, and exercise. Taking care of yourself helps you provide quality care to your patients!
Stress levels are high, especially for nurses and healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19. Excess stress can harm your physical, mental, and emotional health. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay during the pandemic. We are living in unprecedented times, doing the best we can with the resources we have. It’s not a sign of weakness to have emotional reactions to the stressors of COVID-19.
Watch out for these signs of excess stress in you and your colleagues:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline resources:
- 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Online chat
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) resources:
- National helpline: 1-800-622-HELP (4357)
- Disaster Distress Helpline call or text: 1-800-985-5990
Caring for Yourself During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In these strange and unprecedented times, it’s important to remember that your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing are essential to providing the best care possible for your patients.
Here are some tips for nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Talk to your colleagues about how you’re feeling
- Remember that you’re doing the best you can with the resources you have
- Accept the things you don’t have control over
- Try to get adequate sleep
- Eat healthy meals
- Take breaks during your shift
- Try to get exercise when you can
- Take a break from media coverage about the pandemic
- Schedule time to do things you enjoy outside of work
Self-care is even more important for nurses during this time. Make some time to take care of yourself and reach out to a mental health professional or crisis worker if you’re dealing with signs of excess stress, burnout, compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, or other mental health concerns during the pandemic.