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Creating a Path to Wellness

How are you feeling right now? Exhausted? Stressed? Maybe even “down” or depressed?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone’s emotional wellness, regardless of age, race/ethnicity, or occupation. But for healthcare workers (HCWs)--who represent the frontline of the fight--the pandemic has exacerbated already high levels of staffing shortages, stress, and rates of burnout. In fact, 30% of HCWs reported in March that they have considered leaving their profession because of the pandemic. HCWs need our attention and support to recover from the ongoing emotional toll of COVID-19.

Burnout involves three different emotional states that can have negative impacts on an employee, their co-workers, and an organization as a whole:

  • emotional exhaustion,

  • feeling utterly drained by work depersonalization, feeling detached or negative toward others

  • reduced personal accomplishment, feeling less competent or successful at work ​

Happily, there are many interventions and daily supports that employers can consider to address HCW burnout and mental health. As just one example, incorporating time for a 15-minute end-of-shift huddle can provide staff with an opportunity to debrief, gain emotional support by hearing others’ experiences, and guide a more positive transition from work to home. Long-term, this could decrease absenteeism, improve organizational climate, and reduce staff turnover.

For more strategies like this, feel free to contact Tana Luger Motyka at

References 1. Kuzmanovich, D. (2021). What does recovery look like? Addressing physician burnout in 2021. The Advisory Board 2. Wan, W. (2021). Burned out by the pandemic, 3 in 10 health-care workers consider leaving the profession. The Washington Post 3. Maslach, C., & Leiter, M. P. (2016). Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry. World psychiatry, 15(2), 103–111. 4. Personal protective strategies: End of shift huddle. Threshold Globalworks. 5. Wright, T.A. and Huang, C.‐C. (2012), The many benefits of employee well‐being in organizational research. J. Organiz. Behav., 33: 1188-1192.


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