COVID-19 Well-being

The AANA is committed to supporting CRNAs and the healthcare team to safely deliver patient care while maintaining the health and well-being of the nurse anesthetist and the families and the community they serve. 

New!  COVID-19 Mental Health Support for Frontline Nurses: Urgent Request Letter to the White House and Admistration, May 19, 2020. Press release: Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Can Last for Years, Nurses Ask U.S. Administration for Help, May 20, 2020.


CRNA-Produced Wellness Content

Articles

Videos

Audio/Podcasts

Infographic:  COVID-19 and Your Well-being

View Infographic

Webinars and Facebook Live Events

See Events


Support the Front

Free COVID-19 Virtual Support Groups for Healthcare Professionals

COVID-19 is taking a heavy toll on the mental health of CRNAs and other healthcare professionals at the front lines. For more on the problem, see the growing list of articles below under Mental and Emotional Well-being. One solution to help mitigate the stress is to join a moderated free virtual support group to share information among peers on dealing with trauma, stress, burn-out, recovery, and how to maintain self-care during tumultuous times.

View Support The Front Topics/Schedule

Listen to the new Beyond the Mask podcast on Identifying & Coping with the Mental Health Effects of COVID-19.

Support the Front


Free Wellness Services

Headspace Meditation

Headspace
Free premium access for healthcare professionals through 2020.

Visit Headspace

Fitbit

Fitbit

Free 90-day
Premium trial.

Visit Fitbit

Ten Percent Happier

Ten Percent Happier

Free access for
health care workers.

Visit Ten Percent Happier

Happy App

 

logo2_120h

 

Nurses get a free call to a trained compassionate listener.

Visit Happy

Well-being Resources

Aside from the risk of the COVID-19 virus, the stress from the pandemic’s social distancing and personal/professional related anxiety is a challenge for everyone’s mental, emotional, physical and cognitive well-being. As vital healthcare professionals treating COVID-19 patients, you’re more likely to be stressed. While everyone may respond differently, it’s important to recognize some typical signs to seek healthy ways to cope. You can also anticipate stress is coming and preemptively practice behaviors to help mitigate. See the infographic above to read about the common signs of stress, ways to relieve stress, and when/where to find support from peers or professionals.

COVID-19 threats to the mental well-being of CRNAs is addressed in an interview with Tracy Castleman, CRNA where she stated she’s concerned about CRNA’s mental well-being and "significant levels of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues once the crisis is over." She further expressed, "I’m worried what we’ll all look like emotionally when this is done." As the leader of NJANA’s COVID-19 task force, Castleman shares these AANA resources and research articles with the NJ membership twice a week.  

Please considering sharing these among your colleague networks too. 
What I Can and Cannot Control

Mental and Emotional Well-being

Healthcare professionals and the general public are dealing with high levels of anxiety and emotional distress. Depression rates are rising and the trauma titled "Post-Pandemic Stress Disorder" is already upon us.

If you have a mental health condition, maintain your therapy and any prescription medicine schedule and watch for effect of stress for adjustments when needed. 

The American Nurses Association provides six tips to help nurses cope during the pandemic:
  1. Breathe deeply (see the CRNA-Produced Wellness Content above for meditation videos)
  2. Practice staying the present moment
  3. Use cognitive-behavioral skills
  4. Read 3-5 minutes in a positive thinking book every day before starting work
  5. Stay active (see Physical Well-Being: Fitness and Fatigue below)
  6. Talk to someone (see Talk with Someone: Peer Support and Where to Find Professional Help below)
Organizational and Other Resources: Second Victim:
Articles:
Visit AANA Emotional and Mental Well-Being for additional content.

Talk with Someone: Peer Support and Where to Find Professional Help

Workplace colleagues and friends can provide helpful emotional peer support and understanding – see Conversation Tips to Help Support a Colleague. Below are some options to find virtual peer to peer support and ways to find professional tele-therapy. 

Important: When feelings or symptoms affect your ability to function, seek professional advice and therapy from a licensed clinician. If thoughts turn to harming yourself, call American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s HOTLINE: 800-273-TALK. See also www.afsp.org/covid-19 

Peer support and therapy:
  • Support The Front
    • Free COVID-19 virtual support groups for healthcare professionals, offering both peer moderated and therapist facilitated options.
    • Press release: Parkdale Center and AANA Launch Free Virtual Support for Healthcare Professionals During COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • American Nursing Foundation: Nurses Together; Connecting Through Conversations
    • Free virtual space where you can connect with your nursing peers 24/7 to share thoughts, seek support, and ask questions.
    • Part of the Well-being Initiative from ANF, ANA, ENA, APNA and AACN
  • For the Frontlines
    • 24/7 free crisis counseling for health care professionals and essential workers on the frontlines.
    • Text FRONTLINE to 741741 for support dealing with anxiety, stress, fear, isolation, or other difficult emotions you are experiencing during coronavirus.
Finding therapy:
  • Does your workplace have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with counseling options?
  • Check-in with your health insurance provider for virtual tele-therapy services
  • Ask your healthcare professional for recommendations
  • NPR: How to Get Therapy When You Can't Leave the House, 4/2/2020
  • MDLive: Virtual Teletherapy
  • By State
    • Florida Blue: 24/7 Helpline for Florida residents to help with stress, anxiety, trauma, and grief due to the health crisis: 833-848-1762
    • Illinois Call4Calm Program: Residents can speak with a mental health professional for free. Text "TALK" to 552020.
    • Maine "FrontLine WarmLine" volunteer mental health professionals to help clinicians and first responders 207-221-8196 (or 866-367-4440)
    • North Carolina Hope4Healers 919-226-2002 (or 855-587-3463), licensed therapist 24/7 emotional support for frontline workers and family members 

Peer support:


Conversation Tips to Help Support a Peer

Whether you’re isolated or actively working, reach out within your personal network of family, friends, colleagues, and members of your community. Mental health professionals recommend seeking emotional support such as from peers or self-help groups. Your peers are colleagues in your workplace or CRNA or other healthcare friends, near and far. Talk about your COVID-19 feelings and fears and listen to each other.  Share reliable information and resources, and how you’re finding balance in this stressful time. 
  • According to The Joint Commission, initiating a conversation can be as simple as saying, "Tell me how you're feeling, you seem stressed - how are you doing?"
  • Let your colleague share their experience.
  • Listen, be patient, and allow for silence.
  • Express appreciation for sharing.
  • Tell them you care about them.
  • Reflect, interpret, and summarize.
  • Honor their feelings.
  • Discuss some coping strategies.
  • Do they have a support system? Is it accessible?
  • Share resources or ideas.
  • Verify if they are going to be okay, when in doubt talk about sources for professional help.
  • If you feel they are at risk of self-harm, ask directly if they are thinking about suicide.
    • If the response is yes, take them seriously. Ensure someone is with them and aware of their thoughts. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741

Sources: Betsy Lehman Center, How to Support A Colleague; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: When Someone is at Risk


Physical Well-being: Fitness and Fatigue

Fatigue
A "good nights sleep" has often been a beast we long to conquer. The pandemic has changed our hypothetical battle sword to a wet noodle. Reports are releasing that describe the widespread severity of this problem; nearly 1 in 4 healthcare workers have sleep problems and insomnia is affecting more than a third of the medical staff in China.

Fitness
  • Get Healthy U TV: Online resource for full-length workouts. Use the code "CHRISGOLD20" to sign up for GOLD membership for $20
  • Pure Barre: Use the code "EXTENDEDTRIAL" for a free 30 day trial
  • Planet Fitness: Free live-streamed Facebook classes daily at 6:00 pm CST
  • Orangetheory Fitness: Free at-home workout videos
Visit AANA Physical Well-Being for additional content

Grief and Healing

We take comfort in our familiar grief rituals and traditions. COVID-19 has upended lives in so many ways, and the safety of social distancing has disrupted the healing process for bereaved loved ones. Psychology Today's article, How to Cope with Bereavement During the COVID-19 Pandemic, recommends "having a clear coping plan" in place and some strategies to support well-being at this difficult time.

Processing grief can be delayed due to coronavirus circumstances, see the American Psychological Association's article Grief and COVID-19: Saying Goodbye in the Age of Physical Distancing for information on prolonged grief disorder. 


Students and Coping

"We are all in this together. We are facing this uncharted territory together. It's scary and it's ok to feel scared, angry, and want answers. But people don't have answers for us, even our schools, because we have never gone through anything like this before. I know the finish line looks a lot further now more than ever, but it's still there."
Adrienne Chavez, BSN, SRNA; FY20 Health & Wellness Committee Student Representative


Healthcare Leadership Support for Clinician Well-being

Health Care Leader Strategies graphic

*Source: National Academy of Medicine: Strategies to Support the Health and Well-Being of Clinicians During the COVID-19 Outbreak

One example of a healthcare company providing wellness support for clinicians on the COVID front-lines is Envision Healthcare. They are providing counseling, stress management, and crisis peer support, in addition to other resources.


Giving Back

Blood donation message from Jaclyn Beck, SRNA
Jaclyn Beck, SRNA
"Senior SRNA here, virtually graduating in May with my DNP from OldDominion University. Being at this point of my training, just prior to graduation, it is a challenging place to be in with the COVID-19 pandemic. Was feeling extra helpless and anxious with all the crazy happening in the world. I want to be help the community, my friends, and colleagues in any way I could, but that essentially means staying home. That led me to the American Red Cross and a blood donation so I took a break from board prep to go donate. Myself and the staff at the Red Cross both took precautions to do this safely and I was only in contact with one person, who was wearing a mask the whole time. 
 
To the CRNAs working through all of this, thank you for all you’re doing! If you’re out of work due to this or a student out of clinical, consider going to donate. It may seem that everything in the world is shut down right now, but as healthcare providers we all know the need for transfusions never stops. Donation centers are still open and people still depend on transfusions so if you can, consider taking a small step to make a difference by donating! And be sure to rep your AANA gear if you have it, mine sparked a nice conversation about nurse anesthetists!"


Alcohol and Other Drugs, Recovery Resources

Substance use disorder (SUD) and COVID-19's potential influence:

For alcohol/other drug related concerns, please see www.AANA.com/AboutPeerAssistance and know help if available when needed: Reach out to the AANA Peer Assistance Helpline 800-654-5167 for 24/7 live confidential support.


Financial/Employment Related Stress


Articles from the Frontline


Additional COVID-19 Resources