Trusted Health, the career platform for the modern nurse, and The Ohio State University College of Nursing announced a new initiative to promote mental health and well-being among nurses on the frontlines 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 has been at an all-time high, with some studies estimating that up to 63 percent of nurses exhibit symptoms such as job-induced stress, anxiety and depression. In addition, nurses are at increased risk of suicide, and more than half report being in suboptimal mental or physical health, which research shows can lead to more errors in caring for patients. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this issue, as frontline nurses find themselves delivering care for a high volume of acutely ill patients, often in situations with limited crisis response training or supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Trusted and The Ohio State University have come together to help address this issue through a partnership that will provide access to wellness support and evidence-based strategies from nursing faculty and advanced practice nursing (APN) students from The Ohio State University College of Nursing. Nurses employed by Trusted who are working in facilities with COVID-19 patients will be able to access an emotional support line staffed by seasoned nurse practitioner faculty, including mental health experts, and supervised students. Those faculty and students will review stressors with callers and offer coping strategies and stress-reduction techniques.
Nurses who call the emotional support line may then opt to participate in a wellness support partnership program supported by the College of Nursing for a period of four or eight weeks. This will include cognitive-behavioral skills building, motivational interviewing and mindfulness techniques aimed at finding sustainable solutions to enhance the nurses’ health and well-being, both during the pandemic and for life.
“Our healthcare professionals on the frontlines 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, PhD, APRN-CNP, EBP-C, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing at Ohio State. “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.”
“As a nurses-first company, Trusted was founded on a simple idea: Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system, and we must do more to support them,” said Dan Weberg, PhD, RN, head of clinical innovation at Trusted. “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 frontlines, but everywhere.”
Since the onset of COVID-19, Trusted has been focused on meeting the unprecedented demand for healthcare workers by matching nurses who have raised their hands to help with hospitals battling the pandemic. As a nurses-first company, Trusted was among the first to offer guaranteed quarantine pay for all of their nurses, and has made their 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 frontlines. Over the last several weeks, nearly 40,000 nurses have signed up via Trusted to work on the frontlines of the crisis.