The Ohio State University College of Nursing is partnering with Trusted Health, a career platform for the modern nurse, on a new initiative to promote mental health and well-being for travel nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will be piloted with nurses in New York and Michigan – two of the states hit hardest by the pandemic – and rolled out nationwide in the coming weeks.
Even before the current crisis hit, burnout among nurses had reached an all-time high, with some studies estimating that up to 63 percent of nurses experience job-induced stress, anxiety and depression. In addition, nurses are at increased risk of suicide. More than half report being in suboptimal mental or physical health, which research shows can lead to more errors in caring for patients.
The intensity of treating a high volume of acutely ill COVID-19 patients has exacerbated this issue.
The partnership initiative will provide access to wellness support and evidence-based strategies from faculty and advanced practice nursing students from the College of Nursing. Nurses employed by Trusted Health who are working in facilities with COVID-19 patients will be able to access an emotional support line staffed by seasoned mental health nurse practitioner faculty and supervised students who will review stressors with callers and offer coping strategies and stress-reduction techniques.
Nurses who call the emotional support line may also opt to participate in a wellness support partnership supported by the College of Nursing for a period of four or eight weeks. This will include cognitive-behavioral skills building, motivational interviewing, mindfulness and therapeutic communication aimed at finding sustainable solutions to enhance the nurses’ health and well-being, both during the pandemic and for life.
“Our health care professionals on the front lines of this pandemic deserve not only our highest regards for their selfless service, but also our support to handle what they are feeling and experiencing because of this crisis,” said Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing.
“Our college’s faculty, staff and students participating in this effort are well-versed in evidence-based interventions that will not only help these nurses survive, but thrive and build the resilience needed to continue to provide high-quality care and save lives.”
Added Dan Weberg, head of clinical innovation at Trusted, “As a nurses-first company, Trusted was founded on a simple idea: Nurses are the backbone of our health care system, and we must do more to support them. The COVID-19 crisis has pushed this issue into the national consciousness, and we are committed to using this moment to advocate for and identify new ways to support the mental well-being of nurses not just on the front lines, but everywhere.”
Since the onset of COVID-19, Trusted has been focused on meeting the unprecedented demand for health care workers by matching nurses who have raised their hands to help with hospitals battling the pandemic.
Trusted was among the first to offer guaranteed quarantine pay for all of its nurses, and has made its nurse advocate team – former bedside nurses who offer guidance throughout the job search process – available 24/7 to support the needs of Trusted nurses working on the front lines. Over the last several weeks, nearly 40,000 nurses have signed up via Trusted to work during the crisis.
This story was originally published by The Ohio State University