We are all feeling the stress and pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, but nowhere more than in our nation’s healthcare facilities. It seems like each day we face another negative from a virus that continues to impact the economy, our health, and life as we know it. As the pressure on our facilities continues to grow and the news remains bleak, it’s challenging for FQHC teams to stay positive amid all this bad news. Here are a few tips for keeping morale high in your clinical teams even when the world around you is full of doom and gloom.
Intentional Communication is Key
The best leaders during this crisis are the ones that keep their heads and don’t panic. Your FQHC teams look to you and your administrative team to lead and will model their behavior accordingly. This is especially true during a crisis. Staying calm and confident will help them manage their emotions and remember their professional training, no matter how difficult the day has grown.
The key here is to increase communications during this time. Written and verbal communications should remain positive and transparent. Administrative leadership should make an effort to be seen physically while also increasing the volume of leadership communications coming from their desks. Engage workers in discussions about how to improve operations—train frontline managers on how to embody strength, positivity, and leadership across their teams.
Communications should center on prevention and managing risk while also continuing to revise and improve best practices as we face new challenges. Adjusting guidelines, setting new standards, and adopting new rules or modifying old protocols to keep patients and employees safer, is an ongoing process in this new environment we’re living in today.
FQHC administration must make an effort to be empathic, flexible, and understanding to help healthcare workers cope with the uncertainties of COVID-19. The reality is that we cannot completely remove the burdens your healthcare workers are facing on the job or at home. However, we can alleviate fears by leading responsibly and standing side-by-side with our frontline workers until we win this battle.
FQHC leadership should create a culture of support for some of the mental health issues some of your workers are no doubt facing. Making a regular effort to remind workers of the resources available such as employee assistance programs, childcare, on-site counseling, or any other tools to help healthcare workers cope with the daily bombardment of bad news and stress.
Transparency is key during this time. You will build confidence in your workforce and give them the strength they need by providing education and opening dialogue across your facility. The messaging should encompass the spirit of “We’re in this together, we’re here to help our patients, and we will get through this—together.”
UHC Solutions remains here to support our clients before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We partner with FQHCs and Community Health Centers to provide them with temporary and permanent qualified clinical resources. Contact us to help your organization meet the needs of your community today.