8 Sources of Anxiety Among Healthcare Providers During COVID-19

Look out for these 8 sources of anxiety among healthcare workers during COVID-19.
COVID anxiety on healthcare workers

The sources of anxiety in healthcare workers during COVID-19 has become a worldwide problem this past year. In a recently published JAMA study, well-being expert and co-inventor of the Well-Being Index Dr. Tait Shanafelt along with other researchers explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health and well-being of healthcare providers. According to the study, to successfully and efficiently reduce distress caused by the pandemic, healthcare leaders must have an accurate understanding of what specific factors are causing anxiety. “Focusing on addressing those concerns, rather than teaching generic approaches to stress reduction or resilience, should be the primary focus of support efforts.”

To collect this data, Dr. Shanafelt and his team conducted eight listening sessions with groups of physicians, nurses, advanced practice clinicians, residents, and fellows. These sessions were held during the first week of the COVID-19 pandemic and focused on three main areas:

  1. What health care professionals were most concerned about
  2. What messaging and behaviors they needed from their leaders
  3. What other tangible sources of support they believed would be most helpful to them

Below are the eight sources of anxiety the conversations centered on.

1. Access to appropriate PPE

Many healthcare institutions have struggled with securing the personal protective equipment that is needed by those on the front lines. Providers and staff depend on their organization to protect them, especially during uncertain and dangerous times.

2. Being exposed and bringing the infection home

Along with the risk of infection, healthcare professionals are concerned about the possibility of taking the infection home with them and transmitting the disease to other family members, especially those who may be at an increased risk due to age or other health conditions.

3. Not having rapid access to testing

Hand in hand with the fear of infection is the concern with not having access to testing. If a healthcare professional or a loved one begins displaying symptoms of COVID-19 that warrant testing, efficient evaluation and rapid testing is needed to ensure the physical and mental well-being of all involved.

4. Uncertainty that their organization will support them if they develop the infection

Healthcare workers, especially those on the frontlines during this pandemic, need to know that they will be supported should the worst happen and they develop the infection. Organizations should be communicating openly with staff on policies and should offer holistic support for staff that may need to be quarantined.

5. Access to childcare during increased work hours and school closures

Clinicians and other healthcare staff have anything but normal hours during this pandemic response, and the disruptions of schedules and everyday life can have a major impact of mental well-being. During these extreme conditions, support for personal and family needs such as childcare should be prioritized so staff can do their job.

6. Support for other personal and family needs as work hours and demands increase

In addition to childcare, other personal needs such as food and adequate time off are a concern for healthcare staff. This support is vital to maintain emotional and psychological well-being. Policies should reflect this need and ensure that those sacrificing their safety will be cared for.

7. Being able to provide competent medical care if deployed to a new area

Through the listening sessions, researchers identified the concern of providers’ ability to effectively care for patients should they be called upon to work in a new area (for example, non-ICU nurses being transferred to the ICU to provide assistance). Communicating that clinicians have the skills and are trained to do the work can help reduce stress and improve well-being.

8. Lack of access to up-to-date information and communication

Reducing concern by remaining in constance communication, providing support videos, offering easy-to-access resources, and implementing actionable steps for individuals to maximize their well-being can go a long way in easing the burden and making clinicians feel supported.

Additional Resources and Research

For more information on well-being and distress during this challenging time, stay up-to-date with the Champions of Wellness blog. Explore the additional resources below on how organizations can reduce distress during COVID-19:

COVID-19 Resources for Healthcare Providers, Families, and Leadership

Self Care Tips During COVID-19 Uncertainty

Related Posts

Privacy Preferences
Web privacy policy
We take your privacy seriously, and we want you to know how we collect, use, share and protect your information.

What information we collect
We respect the right to privacy of all visitors to the Champions of Wellness site. We do not collect information that would personally identify you unless you choose to provide it. The personal information that you submit, such as on the request a quote page, is shared only with those people within the Champions of Wellness organization who need this information to respond to your request and we will utilize the information to improve Champions of Wellness operations. Information submitted through Champions of Wellness's online forms may be collected to ensure technical functionality. It will also be utilized to report any inappropriate use of our website. We do not save personal information to use for other purposes, nor do we provide it to any other groups.

Email communications, newsletter and related services
Champions of Wellness provides you with the opportunity to receive communications from us or third parties. You can sign up for a free email newsletter as well as unsubscribe from this at any time.

Email communications that you send to us via the contact and email links on our site may be shared with any member of our team and will be directed to the person most able to address your message. We make every effort to respond in a timely fashion once communications are received. Once we have responded to your communication, it is discarded or archived, depending on the nature of the message.

The email functionality on our site does not provide a completely secure and confidential means of communication. It's possible that your email communication may be accessed or viewed by another Internet user while in transit to us. If you wish to keep your communication private, do not use our email and call 888-426-7793.

You may decide at some point that you no longer wish to receive communications from our site. To stop receiving communications, send an email message to us.

Surveys
We, from time to time, survey visitors to our site. The information is used in an aggregated, de-identified form to help us understand the needs of our visitors so that we can improve our visitor experience. The information may be shared with third parties with whom we have a business relationship. We generally do not ask for information in the surveys that would personally identify you. If we do request contact information for follow-up, you may decline to provide it. If survey respondents provide personal information, it is shared only with those people who need to see it to respond to the question or request, or with third parties who perform data management services for our site. Those third parties have agreed to keep all data from surveys confidential.

IP addresses
The Web server will automatically collect the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computers that access the Champions of Wellness site. An IP address is a number that is assigned to your computer when you access the Internet. It is not truly personally identifiable information because many different individuals can access the Internet via the same computer. We use this information in aggregate form to understand how our site or advertisements from Champions of Wellness are being used and how we can better serve visitors.

Cookies and other tracking technology
We collect information about visitors to our site using "cookies" and similar technology such as event tracking, pixel tags, visitor usage recordings and so on. We use this technology to recognize a repeat visitor and offer the visitor a set of content targeted based on a previous visit. We use session cookies to track a visitor's path through our site during a visit, to help us understand how people use our site and interact with us in order for us to continually improve our visitor experience.

How we use the information we collect

We use the information we collect for things like:
• Fulfilling requests for services or information
• Marketing and advertising products and services
• Conducting research and analysis
• Communicating things like special events and surveys
• Establishing and managing your account with us
• Identifying you on our websites and tailoring advertisements and offers to you (both on our websites and on other websites) based on your interactions with us in person and online
• Operating, evaluating and improving our business and website

Data retention
We will retain your information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you services, comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.

Except for authorized law enforcement investigations or other valid legal processes, we will not share any personally identifiable information we receive from you with any parties outside of Champions of Wellness.

We may share some information to third parties
We may share your personally identifiable information with third parties who we have engaged to help us provide you services. In each case, we will ensure that these third parties have agreed not to use or disclose your personal information except to help us provide the services.

Except as noted above for newsletters and surveys, Champions of Wellness does not provide any third party access to your IP address and email address.

We may provide third parties with aggregate statistics about our visitors, traffic and related site information. This data reflects site-usage patterns gathered during visits to our website each month, but they do not contain behavioral or identifying information about any individual member unless that member has given us permission to share that information.

To help us determine the effectiveness of our advertising, we work with Web analytics tools hosted by third parties who receive non-identifiable information from your browser, including but not limited to the site or the advertisement you came from, your IP address, your general geographic location, your browser and platform information, and the pages you view within our site.

Ads by Google
Note that Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on our site. Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to our site users based on their visit to our site and other sites on the Internet. No personally identifiable information is collected as part of Google's process. Users may opt out of the use of this DART cookie by visiting Google's privacy document.
If you would like more information about these practices and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, visit the Network Advertising Initiative. Some ad servers allow you to opt out of anonymous data collection through the use of cookies. To do so, you must opt out of such data collection with each individual site. You can opt out of cookies for several ad servers by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative gateway opt-out site. At that site you can also review the privacy policies of those ad servers.

Protecting your privacy
Whether you are visiting theChampions of Wellness site or working with one of our team members, we use reasonable security measures to protect the confidentiality of personal information under our control and appropriately limit access to it. Champions of Wellness cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. We have taken reasonable steps to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the personal information that you may provide. You should understand, however, that electronic transmissions via the Internet are not necessarily secure from interception, and so we cannot 100% guarantee the security or confidentiality of such transmissions.

If you reached this site via an ad from Champions of Wellness
If you come to a Champions of Wellness website via a Champions of Wellness advertisement, the ad may have been served to you based on your interests or selected for you based on your browsing activities.

Protecting children's privacy
We are committed to protecting children's privacy on the Internet, and we do not knowingly collect any personal information from children.

Links to other websites
Our websites link to client websites, many of which have their own privacy policies. Be sure to review the privacy policy on the site you're visiting.

Privacy policy updates
We may need to update our privacy policy as technology changes and Champions of Wellness evolves. If we make significant changes to this privacy policy, we'll update it here.

This policy was last updated in August 2021.