COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR HEALTHCARE STAFF

CPTS has two new resources for healthcare staff.  These resources provide concrete, usable tools for healthcare staff to support coping in the face of challenging, stressful situations in delivering healthcare.

Responding to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 Pandemic: Toolkit for Emotional Coping for Healthcare Staff (TECHS)

This slideset can be used by individual staff or healthcare teams to learn coping and resilience building skills. For PowerPoint slides, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TECHS flyer – use this 1-page quick intro to share TECHS with your colleagues and staff

FREE WEBINAR: Toolkit for Emotional Coping for Healthcare Staff - Putting it into practice

Frontline healthcare staff are facing unprecedented stressors as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. The Toolkit for Emotional Coping for Healthcare Staff (TECHS) is a set of concrete tools healthcare staff can use during these challenging times. This webinar also provides guidance and practical tips for supporting colleagues, as well as a stand-alone presentation of the toolkit that can be viewed by groups or individuals as a basis for working through the tools on their own. Watch this recorded webinar any time.

Leaders: Learn how to facilitate TECHS with colleagues / groups of healthcare staff
Small groups / Individuals: Use as a guide to using the TECHS tools at your own pace - stop and start to fit the time you have available

TECHS in additional languages

• Spanish version of TECHS from the Asociación Chilena del Estrés Traumático (ACET): Herramientas de Afrontamiento Emocional para el Personal de Salud.  For PowerPoint slides, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TECHS Webinar en español

Japanese version of TECHS  from the Japanese Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (JSTSS)

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Healthcare Professionals

This slideset can be used by individual staff or healthcare teams to learn about secondary traumatic stress and how individuals and institutions can help address it. For PowerPoint slides, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Impact on healthcare staff –  stress and wellbeing

Secondary traumatic stress is a set of responses to being exposed to trauma experienced by others, especially in one’s work / professional role.  Reactions can be akin to symptoms of posttraumatic stress – including:

  • Intrusive or recurrent disturbing thoughts
  • Avoiding reminders of difficult experiences
  • Overly aware of any signs of danger

Other signs and symptoms can include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Feeling down or depressed
  • Feeling apathetic or emotionally detached
  • Irritability or anger
  • Trouble concentrating

All healthcare staff are at risk for secondary traumatic stress, even in “normal” times, because of their repeated exposure to potentially traumatic experiences of their patients.  The COVID-19 pandemic has many characteristics that increase the risk of secondary traumatic stress for frontline healthcare staff - witnessing suffering and death among patients and other staff, and uncertainty about the future, with an ever-changing situation. 

In a pandemic, there are additional stressors for healthcare staff who:

  • may also be caregivers for own children, partner, older family members
  • are at risk of becoming ill themselves and being in the patient role
  • may face ethical dilemmas around providing care to critically ill patients when resources are limited

In healthcare and hospital settings, all essential frontline staff can be exposed to these stressors – clinical staff as well as security, front desk, environmental services and food service staff, and others.

Promoting coping, resilience, and wellbeing

First, institutional responses are important.  Emerging evidence from pandemics suggests that healthcare staff experience lower stress, depression, and anxiety when they are satisfied with the care provided by their hospital / department and are satisfied with the protective measures available to them for avoiding infection. 

Individuals and healthcare teams can also play a role in their own wellbeing.  All the usual advice about self-care applies: rest, exercise, time to “turn off” mentally outside of work.  In addition, specific tools can help to learn quick, practical coping strategies – see Toolkit for Emotional Coping for Healthcare Staff (TECHS). 

Additional Resources for Healthcare Staff

Tips and information on healthcare staff coping and wellbeing at work / related to COVID-19

 Considering and coping with ethical challenges

General stress and coping tools 

  • Professional Quality of Life Measure (ProQOL)  https://proqol.org/ProQol_Test.html
    • Measure of both negative and positive effects on professionals from helping others who experience suffering and trauma.  Available in 27 languages, or download the “Provider Resilience” app for iOS or Android
    • The ProQoL is included in this set of quick, evidence-based tools to gauge your stress as well as your compassion satisfaction.  Give yourself a regular “checkup” – the app will help you track your responses over time.
  • Headspace for Healthcare Professionals
    • Tools for calming and coping.  Headspace is offering free accounts for healthcare professionals during the pandemic