A Therapist's Approach When Working With Healthcare Workers Who Are Suffering From Acute Stress Disorder, Burnout and Sleep Disturbances During and Post-COVID

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Martis, Cathy
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Healthcare workers, particularly physicians and nurses, experience and develop significant mental health issues while working during pandemics such as COVID. This paper examines research on mental health issues experienced by healthcare workers during pandemic eras, and outlines strategies therapists can utilize to support the mental health of healthcare workers. Acute stress disorder, burnout, and sleep disturbances appear frequently in a search of medical databases within the past five years. This paper goes on to outline information regarding effective assessment tools and therapeutic interventions when working with health care workers experiencing mental health issues. The following approaches and tools are found to be effective when working with healthcare clients: "psychological first aid," "trauma-informed care," "cognitive behavioural therapy," "acute stress disorder scale," "Maslach burnout inventory," and "Pittsburgh sleep quality index." When therapists use these approaches and tools, they are more likely to provide healthcare workers with comprehensive and holistic interventions to help them cope with the mental health symptoms they experience during pandemics such as COVID. This paper outlines the critical role therapists can play to facilitate healing journeys for healthcare workers during times of pandemic. It is imperative for therapists to be aware of and implement the most efficacious therapeutic interventions and modifications (telehealth) when providing therapy. Finally, therapist self-care is crucial in order to provide compassionate and long-term therapy for healthcare workers.
covid, acute stress disorder, burnout, sleep disturbances, psychological first aid, trauma-informed care, cognitive behavioural therapy, telehealth, therapist self-care
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States, openAccess