Caring for health care workers during crisis: Creating a resilient organization

This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.

Action steps taken by an organization before, during and after a crisis will reduce psychosocial trauma and increase the likelihood your workforce will cope or even thrive. How physicians and other health care workers are supported during a time of acute stress impacts how they cope and whether they recover from the crisis, or alternatively, whether they will adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms and show signs of stress injury (e.g., burnout, insomnia, dysphoria) or even worse, chronic stress illness (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse). Effectively caring for the health care worker may decrease their risk of leaving practice or limiting their fulltime effort. Successful organizations will take a systems approach and focus on becoming a resilient organization prior to times of crises, rather than limiting their efforts to a focus on individual resilience or only attending to the well-being of health care workers after crises develop. Furthermore, resilient organizations will need to rapidly reconfigure their well-being priorities to meet the biggest new drivers of stress in a crisis setting.


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