Take care of yourself and encourage others to do so!
Anxiety, uncertainty and the often difficult medical nature of infectious diseases such as Coronavirus (COVID-19) require special attention when meeting the needs of health care staff.
Even though providing health services under hard conditions such as the current ones can and should offer satisfaction, it puts a strain on the employees who offer their services in this difficult field. It is common and expected to see symptoms of insomnia and exhaustion, as well as feelings of fear, distress, disappointment and guilt. For this reason, it is best to ensure that we remain mentally healthy and resilient.
Our proposed Management/Support Strategies
Meeting Basic Needs: Follow a proper diet, stay hydrated and maintain your sleeping routine. Sleep deprivation makes it more difficult to look after patients.
Take breaks: Allow yourself to take breaks, whenever possible. Occupy yourself with something that is not related to work and which you find relaxing or entertaining. Some people may feel guilty for allowing themselves to keep this distance. However, you should bear in mind that you can take better care of others when you take care of yourself.
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Connect with colleagues: Speak to colleagues and get support from them. Infectious diseases may trap people into feeling fear and anxiety. Share your story and listen to others.
Productive Communication with Colleagues: Maintain open and positive communication with colleagues. Praise and encourage each other. Positive comments help to relieve stress and act as a strong incentive.
Stay in touch with your family: Your loved ones are your own “power supply” for drawing support and strength. By staying connected to them you help them to support you.
Respect diversity: When facing stressful circumstances, some people have the need to open up to others while others need time to themselves. Acknowledge and respect this difference, first and foremost with regard to yourself, but also with regard to your colleagues and patients.
Limit your exposure to the mass media: Prolonged exposure to the mass media may increase your anxiety and affect your productivity. Stay informed and rely on trustworthy sources of information.
Observe yourself regularly: Check yourself periodically for symptoms of depression or anxiety: prolonged distress, disturbed sleep, feelings of helplessness, persistent thoughts.
Be proud of the services you offer: Remind yourself that you are fulfilling, under very adverse circumstances, a noble purpose, that of taking care of those who are most in need. Give yourself credit for offering your services and admit that you must be proud of it.
If necessary, you may speak to a psychologist of our hospital by contacting, through the call center, the 24-hour Emergency Psychological Support Telephone Service for employees, which is operated by the 2nd University Psychiatric Clinic.