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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 tmotyka@covenanthealthnetwork.org.


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 https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/04/22/health-workers-covid-quit/ 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. https://www.thresholdglobalworks.com/ 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.