How to support a healthcare worker during a pandemic
COVID-19 has affected everyone, but one group that has been particularly impacted is our healthcare workers. Working long hours, putting themselves at risk, and dealing with worried and anxious people are just some of the things they’ve had to deal with for a really long time.
It’s important to appreciate the incredible difference our healthcare workers are making, and to do what we can as friends, whānau and patients to support their wellbeing as they put in the hours to look after ours.
Here’s what you can do to support a healthcare worker during this tough time:
Be kind and appreciative
Remember that healthcare workers are doing their best to care for us, and they’ve been through a lot. Being empathetic, kind, and telling them how much you appreciate them doesn’t sound like much, but it can make a huge difference!
Acknowledge their feelings
“We all want to be reassured when we’re feeling overwhelmed – we want to be listened to, to be heard and seen. Don’t try to ‘fix’ their problems or worries, just acknowledge what they’re going through and give them reassurance in the best way you can. Help them to focus on the things they can control.” Teah, partner of a healthcare worker.
Keep up the communication
If you know a healthcare worker, make sure you’re checking in with them often. If you can’t physically see them, make the effort to call or text regularly. Simple actions like this show you’re thinking of them and can really help a person feel supported.
Encourage them to reach out for support
Healthcare workers have been through a lot and the ongoing stress and challenges are taking a toll. Try to encourage the healthcare workers you know to practise self-care by doing things like eating well, spending time in nature and getting some rest. However, if you think someone needs further tautoko/support, encouraging them to seek it is important. Click here for a list of further support and helplines.