By Kristin Baird
While healthcare grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. At the same time, it is important that leaders begin thinking about, and preparing for, the inevitable recovery period that will follow.
Prior to COVID-19, there was universal concern over burnout across healthcare, particularly among doctors and nurses. Turnover goes hand-in-hand with burnout. Our healthcare professionals have never been as taxed as they are in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Their stress has been compounded by both the volume and acuity of patients as well as concern over shortages of PPE.
My fear is that many organizations were dealing with staffing issues prior to the crisis. Today, the workers at the epicenters are suffering from “battle fatigue.” What will the aftermath be? How can we help them recover once the crisis has subsided?
The physical and emotional toll is very real. One thing I know for sure, is that when the crisis passes, the doors will still be open and beds will still be filling with patients in need of medical and surgical services unrelated to COVID-19. We’re going to need our team members on board and ready to serve them. The challenge facing leaders is to keep one foot in the present and another in the future.
"What's next?" is a question weighing on everyone’s minds today. As more and more news reports tell us there will be no “getting back to normal”. We must ask; what is the new normal? Good question, but no clear answer.
The new normal is what we create and based on how we, as leaders, answer these questions:
These are just a few questions to consider. What’s next is up to us.
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