Sentara Martha Jefferson HealthWise: Staff Resiliency
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Health care professionals tend to put the health of their patients first and can neglect their own health and well-being.
That is why Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital created a staff resilience coordinator position, to help medical professionals focus on their personal wellness while on the job.
“Our mission is to bring self-care and resilient practices into the health care setting,” said Esther Lozano Otis, MJH’s staff resiliency coordinator.
The program offers things like chair massages, mindful movement, wellness workshops, and resilient retreats. Of the offerings, 80 percent are available at the hospital.
“Given where health care is right now, and being a nurse myself, I think we are feeling stressed and at times overwhelmed,” said Otis. “Offering means of support and a work environment and a work culture that supports overall wellness is extremely important to us.”
Facilitators rove around the hospital, coming to health care professionals in their department or unit to provide a wellness offering.
“Takes the stress of having to do one more thing off of their place,” said Otis. “And by meeting staff, where they are, literally but also metaphorically, meeting people where they’re at, is really helpful for them.”
She says it’s important to think of yourself as a living being, like a plant, and to focus on meeting your basic needs.
“We need things like sunlight, and being outdoors in nature, and it doesn’t take much time to do that,” said Otis. Maybe it’s five minutes, a quick walk outside, getting lots of water, and eating delicious, nutritious foods, hence the vitamins and minerals, and also getting rest, so sleeping.”
Outside of the basic needs, Otis says to consider taking things off your plate instead of adding to them.
“We want to prioritize our mental health and bring ourselves into that and giving ourselves permission to ask for help,” she said.