At Air Methods, we emphasize the importance of taking care of our clinicians who selflessly care for their patients day in and day out. We know what they do isn’t normal. They are constantly exposed to human pain, suffering, and death, which exacts a severe toll over time even as they are conditioned to greet grief with a stoic calm.

In her recent article published in Health News Digest titled, “You’re Not Alone,” Air Methods Chief Nursing Officer and SVP of Clinical Services Stephanie Queen speaks up about the crushing weight of grief and its relentless presence in the lives of critical care workers.

Healthcare workers pride themselves on their ability to be empathetic but professional. Many of them calmly deliver news of adverse outcomes and prognoses to patients and family members every day, then go home to a family or personal life and try to compartmentalize thoughts of their patients’ diseases, injuries, or deaths.  

This grief can manifest itself in many ways, including anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, irritability, lack of focus, denial, shock, anger, depression, loss of appetite, nightmares, anhedonia, and substance abuse. And that’s only a partial list.

To ease the burden of grief, Queen offers some proactive steps clinicians can take through self-care:

  1. Be kind to yourself
  2. Recognize that you need to rest, eat, exercise, etc.
  3. Spend time on things that bring you joy
  4. Talk it out/express yourself to someone you trust
  5. LAUGH
  6. Make time to acknowledge the work you do
  7. Breathe
  8. Shower
  9. Get fresh air
  10.  Let light into your life

Read the full article in Health News Digest here.