5 ways to reduce late-pandemic staff burnout

Most residents and workers are vaccinated and COVID-19 rates in nursing homes have plummeted, so everything should be great, right? According to a recent article in StatNews, not quite.

In “As the Covid-19 crisis ebbs in the U.S., experts brace for some to experience psychological fallout,” author Andrew Joseph reports that it’s only after an initial emergency ends that people –— finally out of crisis mode — have time to consider the emotional impact of their experiences. In addition, healthcare workers, “who have been stretched to the limit for months at a time and exposed to so much suffering, all while fearing for their own safety” may be more prone to “burnout, substance misuse and PTSD.”

With that in mind, here are some suggestions for lessening late-pandemic burnout in staff:

  1. Maintain mental health supports and programming: Organizations might have stepped up emotional support for workers during the height of the pandemic, but staff may need services just as much after the crisis abates. Rather than discontinuing assistance, reassess the needs of your team and adjust your offerings.
  1. Monitor overtime: With all the bad news about nursing homes, there’s probably not a line of new workers knocking at the door. Short-staffing can lead to great pressure on current employees to fill open shifts by working doubles or staying late. Be mindful that the kind of people drawn to work in nursing homes — compassionate caregivers — are also the kind of people who have difficulty saying “no.” They’ll take on shifts when they should be taking care of themselves. Keep track of overtime hours and emotional states and pull back rather than push for overtime from someone who’s overdoing it.

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