New resource to help local health workers deal with pandemic stress

Posted at 10:19 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 23:19:17-05

MILWAUKEE — Frontline healthcare workers at one Wisconsin Hospital system are getting a new tool to help them deal with the stress from an overwhelming number COVID-19 patients. Ascension Wisconsin says their seven facilities in southeastern Wisconsin are treating 257 coronavirus patients in addition to others in need of medical care.

“We have decided it is our job as health care leaders to be the advocates for providing space and tools for our front line to use,” says Chief Nursing Officer Heather Schimmers. The company reworked an existing internal website and added “My Care.” The site offers employees resources for mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and occupational health.

Ascension Regional Director of Behavioral Health Tina Lechnir says: “we’re promoting psychological resilience for our associates… we need them on the front lines caring for our patients, caring for families and caring for each other.”

The company is also building “Respite Lounges” at their seven hospitals across the area. These will be spaces away from the patient floors with areas for workers to relax and socially distance themselves from others.

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