Health care workers deal with pressure and tension every day, but COVID-19 has caused more stress and additional challenges.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, there’s been a clear sense that people are showing up to work and giving so deeply of themselves and their time and energy. They’re physically and emotionally exhausted,” shared Staycie Flint, chaplain coordinator of team member well-being and spirituality at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “We wanted to find a way to support them and offer healing.”
The Mission and Spiritual Care team started hosting virtual Renewal Days to help the hospital’s frontline staff navigate distress and crises.
“Team members receive an activity kit and join us online. There are group discussions and independent exercises,” explained Janet MacLean, director of clinical pastoral education. “People bring to the table whatever is weighing on them, whether it’s society itself, challenges with family or their personal lives or stress due to COVID.”
Bounce Back kits are also available to team members. The kits include take-home materials that allow people space to reflect on what is meaningful to them.
Renewal Days and Bounce Back kits were so popular at Advocate Children’s Hospital that they’re now available to team members across Advocate Aurora Health.
“We know they’re effective because we do surveys. We’ve found people feel less physically and emotionally exhausted after attending a Renewal Day. They’re less agitated, and they feel gratitude more often,” said Staycie. “There’s an increased sense of caring for themselves, being supported and heard, as well as relief that they’re not alone in how they’re feeling.”
Patients also benefit from these efforts.
“Patient safety is directly linked to team member safety and well-being,” explained Janet. “Team members who tend to their own well-being are less likely to make errors and contribute to safer patient care.”
Renewal Days and Bounce Back kits are funded through the Advocate Aurora COVID-19 Relief Fund.
“These programs would not be possible without charitable support,” said Janet.
“I think donors help us realize what we need, and there’s a real gift in that,” added Staycie.
How you can help
Philanthropy is critical to supporting team members’ well-being and resiliency. Please consider making a gift today.