As you may know, 2020 continues to be a tumultuous year. The COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, economic uncertainty, and natural disasters have impacted us all. However, there are those whose job requires them to be placed in the midst of this strife. Alabama’s first responders and frontline workers go to work each day with fear and concern for themselves and their families. Yet, those emotions are pushed aside and their focus is placed solely on serving and saving the citizens of this State. ASNA is calling on your help.
To help address the situation, we are partnering with The Alabama Counseling Association (ALCA), Project RESPITE, and Emotional PPE to provide our first responders and frontline workers with emotional support.
We surveyed our members and identified the need to address the emotional wellbeing of nurses and staff working in Long Term Care facilities. Some findings of the study yielded the following concerns: Staffing needs, lack of PPE equipment, isolation of residents leading to a decline in patient well-being, excessive paperwork, resident dignity and mental health, staff safety, etc.
Our partnership with the ALCA, Project RESPITE, and Emotional PPE will assure that all members have the opportunity to reach an ALCA volunteer for emotional support. We are calling on Alabama professional counselors to participate by volunteering a small portion of their time to help those who are helping others during the pandemic.
Project RESPITE is a phone service where front line workers simply request someone listen as they share their concerns. It is hoped ALCA members who hold Master's degrees in counseling or related fields will volunteer for Project RESPITE and simply provide listening services to Alabama’s front line and essential workers. You can view more information here.
Emotional PPE is a site requesting Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) to connect with those front line workers in a more therapeutic setting. It is hoped that Alabama LPCs will volunteer for the Emotional PPE website. LPC volunteers are responsible for maintaining their License with the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling (ABEC) office and keeping their insurance current.
Many of you may have a family member or know someone who either resides or works in these facilities. ASNA has recognized that the need is great. ALCA has recognized our capacity to help. Like ASNA, we are an organization of caregivers. Let’s step up ALCA, and be a bridge in someone’s life.
COVID-19 Related Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)
Nurses are and have been frontline medical providers during the coronavirus pandemic. They have answered the call to be at the bedside and have adapted to rapid changes in work expectations and requirements. They have experienced first-hand the stress and trauma that can occur with the loss of a patient and an illness with no present cure. There has been little time to reflect, process these experiences, and heal. Additionally, many of the typical and healthy coping skills nurses may rely on are less accessible during stay-at-home orders and limitations on traditional social activities. Learn more about ASD and different treatment options in the slideshow.