- Jessica Lloyd-Hazlett, PhD, LPC-S, Associate Professor, Department of Counseling, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and transformed the global population. Healthcare providers remain a particularly vulnerable group within the prolonged health crisis, susceptible not only to infection but increased professional burnout. Professional burnout is a “long-term stress reaction marked by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a lack of a sense of personal accountability” (AHRQ, as cited in Mollica et al., 2021, p. 1). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 50% of U.S physicians were experiencing professional burnout (Shanafelt et al., 2015). In Canada, 86% of surveyed Emergency Physicians met at least one criterion for burnout prior to the pandemic (Lim et al., 2020). Emerging research examining unique challenges of healthcare providers coping with the pandemic include, but not limited to, infection, death, fear of infecting family, moral injury, witnessing suffering, the enormity of the problem, and racial trauma (Mollica et al., 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic reflects a collective trauma for medicine, as well as a self-care turning point. “The physical and mental exhaustion associated with the pandemic cannot be meaningfully captured by the term ‘burnout’ ((Mollica et al., 2021, p. 20).” This presentation summarizes the “Self-Care Protocol: Practice Guide for Healthcare Practitioners and Staff” developed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (Mollica et al., 2021). Grounded in the One Health holistic system of healthcare, the self-protocol aims to integrate all aspects of human life: body, mind, spirit, and environment. Further, the model includes simple to follow, easy to apply, and scientifically backed, trauma-informed, principles to promote resilient healthcare teams. These principles include (1) mission statements (2) clinical excellence, (3) peer supervision, (4) empathy, (5) reflection, (6) mindfulness, mediation, and prayer, (7) personal self-care practices, (8) natural environment, (9) evaluation, and (10) restoring human dignity. Following a summary of the model, the presenter will share practical, brief strategies and other ideas to enact the outline protocol principles. Focus will be on strategies that are brief, low cost, team-focused, and effective. The presentation format also provides participants opportunities to practice self-care. Consideration will be given to how strategies may be applied to diverse individuals and practice environments.
- Identify unique self-care challenges faced by providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Discuss ten principles of the new "Self-Care Protocol".
- Apply brief, low cost, team-focused, and effective strategies to promote team resilience