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Caring for Healthcare Workers

Support for Healthcare Workers

The elongated COVID-19 pandemic has been physically and emotionally draining on everyone in our community. For those that work in a healthcare setting, the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially daunting. Eighteen months into this pandemic, how can the community show support for frontline workers who continue to navigate the ongoing healthcare needs related to this highly transmissible virus?

Express Gratitude

In times of duress, a small measure of thanks or appreciation can go a long way. If someone you know works in a healthcare setting, take a moment to tell them you are grateful for them. A simple text, phone call or friendly comment on social media can elevate someone’s spirits, reduce stress, quell loneliness and nurture connectivity.

Think of Others

Everyone has grown weary of being told what to do … or not to do throughout the pandemic. Remain mindful that the decisions that you make have consequences for others. What can you do to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ultimately ease the burden on healthcare workers? Wash your hands, wear a mask in public settings, stay home when you are sick, be mindful of social distancing and large group gatherings and get a COVID-19 vaccine if you are eligible. The mindfulness of your actions can positively impact the health and well-being of others.

Care for Caregivers

Healthcare workers are dedicated to caring for others. Is there something that you can do to reciprocate their compassionate care? If someone you know is a healthcare worker, what gesture of kindness that you can extend to them? Bake a batch of cookies, send a small gift card, offer to watch their kids for an evening or ask them to go for a walk with you.

Be Supportive

If you know someone has been front and center in dealing with the pandemic, lend them emotional support. Having someone to talk to and share how you are feeling is critically important to human existence. You yourself may be feeling socially isolated as you’ve worked from home or maintained a distance from your colleagues at work. Humans thrive when they have meaningful relationships and connectivity. Pick up the phone, schedule a virtual call, go for a walk, have coffee on a patio and nurture your friendships and family relationships with those who are feeling the brunt of the pandemic. Supportive human interactions are beneficial for everyone’s health and well-being.

Give Grace

We can all benefit from a bit of grace amidst the uncertainty and challenges we are navigating. Life is hard. People are stressed and wary as it has been an especially challenging time for everyone. Be kind to yourself and be mindful of the needs and concerns of others. How can you make one person’s life better through your words or actions?

We are all waiting to turn the page and close the book on this pandemic; however, there is much to learn from the adversity we face. We are stronger and can make such a meaningful difference when we work together. We are happier and healthier when we care for one another and not just ourselves. Each one of us has the capacity to positively affect the health and well-being of those within our community. Put goodness out there and it will come back to you … and to all of us.

Count on the Greater Des Moines Partnership for economic recovery information and business and industry recommendations as the region moves forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about current impacts and future trends from the DSM Forward playbooks here.

Dr. Yogesh Shah, MD, MPH and Katie Wengert, BA, MS

Dr. Yogi Shah is chief medical officer and VP of medical affairs at Broadlawns Medical Center. Katie Wengert is chief marketing and external relations officer at Broadlawns Medical Center.