HNN301 mental health promotion
Recently, healthcare providers’ mental needs have gained popularity, becoming a major public health concern. Healthcare professionals are exposed to various work-related stress factors, which adversely affect their mental, physical, and emotional well-being, compromising their capacity to provide high-quality care to their patients (Søvold et al., 2021). Thus, healthcare organizations should evaluate working conditions that are adversely affecting their staff and adopt evidence-based strategies for addressing them to improve healthcare professionals’ mental health and well-being, improving their overall performance and productivity. This paper presents an incident that occurred in the workplace that positively impacted mental health and wellbeing; an event that occurred in the workplace that negatively impacted mental health and wellbeing; and strategies that can be employed to promote mental health and manage the negative effects of the workplace event.
Step 1: An Incident that Occurred in the Workplace that Positively Impacted Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental health issues affecting healthcare professionals are a significant challenge facing healthcare organizations. Thus, healthcare organizations should aim at preventing work-related distress, psychological torture, and mental health issues affecting healthcare providers. An incident that occurred in the healthcare organization that positively impacted mental health and well-being is a workshop that was held in our healthcare organization. During the seminar, professionals, including psychologists, counselors, and other therapists educated healthcare workers, including nurses. Various sessions were held to create stress management awareness in different groups of healthcare professionals. Specifically, I benefited from the stress management among nurses, which was scheduled on the second day of the workshop.
During the program, nurses were educated about several stress management techniques, including mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises. According to Holman et al. (2018), stress management techniques enable healthcare workers to reduce job-related distress and anxiety, and become more focused and motivated to perform their respective duties in the workplace. Applying stress management strategies learned during the workshop impacted my mental health and wellbeing positively. By being mindful, I considered the needs of others, including other healthcare providers and patients. I work diligently to provide quality and safe care to all patients, addressing all their healthcare needs. Additionally, I was committed to assisting other healthcare workers during care delivery, preventing them from work-related distress associated with a high workload. In other words, being mindful enable me to approach a high workload in the healthcare organization positively and be committed to giving the best results. Furthermore, I applied breathing exercises in managing work-related stress. These exercises enabled me to relax and gain the energy needed to provide quality care to the rising number of patients in the healthcare organization. Therefore, applying stress management techniques enabled me to overcome job-related distress, exhaustion, and burnout, improving my mental health status and overall well-being. From this incident, I learned that stress management approaches effectively prevent mental health issues among healthcare providers. In the future, I will educate my colleagues on how they can apply stress management strategies to reduce work-related distress, burnout, and exhaustion, improving their job performance and capacity to provide high-quality patient care, which will result in positive health outcomes.
Step 2: Analyzing an Event that Occurred in the Workplace that Negatively Impacted Nurse’s Mental Health and Wellbeing
Work-related distress, fatigue, and burnout expose healthcare providers to mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety. An incident that impacted my mental health and well-being negatively occurred during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, the healthcare organization was receiving an extremely high number of patients, following increased demand for healthcare services among individuals infected with the virus. Nurses were on the frontline in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic by providing nursing care to individuals who presented to healthcare organizations with Corona Virus-related symptoms (Al Thobaity & Alshammari, 2020). Thus, being a nurse I was actively involved in providing nursing care to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.
The workplace factor that affected my mental health and well-being negatively during the COVID-19 pandemic is the high workload. Following a dramatic increase in the number of individuals seeking healthcare in the healthcare organization, each nurse was allocated a higher number of patients than recommended to meet the high demand for care and save the lives of individuals infected by the virus. Consequently, I had to work for long shifts to attend to all patients and counsel family members who were concerned about the health status of their loved ones. As a nurse, I had to assure family members that loved ones were receiving high-quality care and that they would recover shortly. Additionally, I could educate them about the significance of ensuring that the infected person was quarantined for 14 days. According to Harapan et al. (2020), person-to-person transmission of coronavirus occurs through close contact with infected persons. People are likely to inhale respiratory droplets that an infected person releases while speaking or coughing. Thus, educating the family members about quarantine would reduce the risk of being infected with the coronavirus.
Meeting patients’ healthcare needs was my primary goal during this period. Despite being fatigued and exhausted, I had to attend to the patient to prevent further complications or even death. I remember I could even miss lunch or snacks trying to maximize time spent providing care to patients. I also collaborated with the Intensive Care Unit to ensure oxygen was provided to patients with high requirements for oxygen. Additionally, I worked for a relatively long time assisting physicians who were overwhelmed by the high number of patients. Working for long hours left me with no time to go to the gym or interact with my family members. Additionally, I was always anxious about receiving more patients in the healthcare organization, which would increase the current workload further. Consequently, high workload and longer shifts resulted in exhaustion, mental distress, anxiety, and depression. This incident led to job dissatisfaction. I was no longer happy with my profession, and I attempted to quit the nursing profession. Although nurses should prioritize the healthcare needs of their patients, I felt that the high overload was not good for my mental health and overall well-being. From this incident, I learned that workplace factors significantly impact nurses’ productivity and ability to provide high-quality patient care. Therefore, as a nurse practitioner, I will advocate for a conducive working environment for nurses to enhance their capacity to provide high-quality, safe, and efficient care to patients, leading to positive health outcomes.
Step 3: Strategies for Promoting Mental Health to Manage the Negative Impacts of the high Workloads in the Healthcare Organization
The high workload during the first phase of COVID-19 exposed me to exhaustion, work-related distress, anxiety, and depression, which adversely affected my productivity and capacity to provide high-quality patient care. Thus, I should adopt evidence-based strategies to promote my mental health and 2manage the negative effects of a high workload, improving my productivity and ability to provide high-quality care to my patients. The selected approaches include engaging in self-care practices and enrolling in Help Point (HP) Programme.
Engaging in Self-Care Practices
Engaging in self-care practices effectively prevents burnout and work-related stress among healthcare workers during COVID-19. Thus, I will adopt various self-care approaches such as promoting self-care and mindfulness. Mindfulness is preferred since it boosts self-care and well-being among healthcare professionals. Additionally, mindfulness programs increase resilience to stress, self-compassion, and the quality of professional life of healthcare providers (Sirois & Owens, 2021). Galbraith et al. (2020) reported that mindfulness-based interventions are recommended for individuals working in high-stress work environments that increase the risk of work-related distress. Mindfulness also prevents work-related stress and suicidal thoughts among healthcare workers (Galbraith et al., 2020). The first mindfulness strategy that I will adopt to manage mental health issues involves being compassionate to myself and others in the healthcare organization, including patients and other healthcare staff. According to Sirois and Owens (2021), compassion creates a therapeutic environment in a clinical. Self-compassionate individuals depict emotions when reacting to adverse events in their workplaces. Thus, by being compassionate, I will emotionally address adverse incidents in the healthcare organization, including the high demand for emergency healthcare services among individuals diagnosed with the coronavirus. Consequently, being compassionate will prevent me from burnout, exhaustion, and mental distress associated with the high workload during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to mindfulness, I will adopt the promotion of self-care as a strategy for boosting my mental health status. Meeting all needs of the body, including getting the required nutrients boosts an individual’s mental health and overall-wellbeing (Maben & Bridges, 2020). I will ensure all my needs, including eating a healthy and balanced diet, drinking an adequate amount of fluids, and getting adequate sleep and rest. Additionally, I will engage in daily relaxation exercises and indoor recreational activities to promote to boost my mental health and well-being. Therefore, by adopting self-care interventions, including mindfulness programs and promoting self-care I will boost my mental health and overall well-being, preventing low-quality care and job dissatisfaction caused by the high workload among nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enrolling in Help Point (HP) Programme
Help Point Programme is designed by hospitals to provide psychological support to all healthcare professionals who need it to overcome work-related distress. Voluntarily participating in HP activities effectively prevents burnout and work-related stress among healthcare workers (Dalmasso et al., 2021). These results are associated with psychological support provided to healthcare workers by specialists, especially psychologists. As a result, healthcare workers report a significant decline in work-related distress and an improved mental health status. Additionally, the rate of absenteeism among healthcare professionals reduces substantially after enrolling in the HP program since workers are motivated to focus on providing high-quality care to their patients. Thus, enrolling in a high point program and actively participating in HP activities will reduce fatigue, burnout, exhaustion, and distress resulting from a high workload during the COVID-19 pandemic. Talaee et al. (2020) reported that burnout syndrome (BOS) is a significant problem facing healthcare workers. This condition is characterized by extended fatigue and reduced interest and motivation to perform one’s job-related duties, decreasing job productivity. Hence, actively participating in HP activities will reduce my burnout level, improving my job performance and capacity to offer high-quality patient care.
Moreover, participating in HP activities will improve my quality of life significantly, improving my job performance and ability to provide quality patient care. As result, the patient will have a positive experience with healthcare services provided to them despite the dramatic increase in nurses’ workload during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Dalmasso et al. (2021), improvement in healthcare providers’ mental status is directly proportional to the number of HP meetings and activities attended by an individual. For this reason, I will attend all HP scheduled meetings and activities to improve my mental health, ability to provide quality patient care, and overall productivity, resulting in positive health outcomes.
Lastly, as a comprehensive stress prevention intervention, the high point program aims at enhancing individual healthcare workers’ stress management abilities. The HP program aligns with healthcare organizations’ stress management strategies, which are based on various factors, including environmental, structural, ergonomic, and technological factors. The HP program benefits individual healthcare workers and the entire organization (Dalmasso et al., 2021). The program aims at enhancing the psychological and general mental health and well-being of all healthcare workers. Additionally, the program reduces the rate of absenteeism in the healthcare organization. Therefore, enrolling in the HP program will provide me with workplace health support and psychological care, reducing work-related distress, fatigue, and exhaustion associated with a significant increase in nurses’ workload during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, I will be more productive, providing high-quality care to all my patients.
Overall, job-related distress, burnout, and exhaustion among healthcare professionals affect their performance and ability to provide quality patient care adversely. Thus, healthcare organizations should organize a workshop to provide their workers with platforms for learning about effective stress management interventions. Additionally, healthcare professionals should implement self-care interventions, including engaging in self-care practices and enrolling in Help Point (HP) Programme to reduce work-related distress and burnout, improving their job performance.
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