Payrolls Increase by Nearly 1.4 Million in August; Economic Recovery Continues

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Sep 4, 2020 10:54:51 AM
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Topics: Jobs Report, Coronavirus

Working Through COVID-19: How to Manage Stress and Avoid Burnout

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Aug 17, 2020 5:05:50 PM

HCA Healthcare colleagues offer advice for navigating and adapting to a changing workplace.

The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way many HCA Healthcare colleagues do their jobs. Some may be working from home for the first time. Others may be adjusting to new roles created by shifting priorities.

Those changes—in addition to feelings of sadness, confusion, fear and anger that are common during a crisis—can cause stress and even lead to burnout at work.

“Everyone feels stress,” says Dr. Frank Drummond, national medical director of behavioral health services at HCA Healthcare, “but burnout is the result of unrelenting stress. People experiencing burnout may feel mentally exhausted, disconnected, unproductive, inefficient at tasks—and simply may not care about their work anymore.”


When work is home

At first, the idea of working from home might seem like the perfect antidote to work stress—no fighting traffic during morning and evening commutes, no agonizing over what to wear. But it can actually cause a different kind of stress. When working from home, the lines between your personal and professional lives can blur, making it difficult to keep them separate. And when access to work is available 24/7—through emails and texts—the feeling can be compounded.

To help, consider these tips from the HCA Healthcare Leadership Institute’s “Navigating the New World of Work” toolkit:

  • Establish a routine. Set a schedule with consistent start and end times for your workday. Get up each morning and get dressed; it will help you feel more confident and set your intentions for the day. And remember to take breaks throughout the day to recharge.
  • Set clear boundaries. Communicate with your family about your routine and when and how it’s okay to interrupt you, if needed. And try to quit at quitting time. Many who work from home find it difficult to unplug at the end of the day, but sticking to your schedule can help you avoid burnout.
  • Know yourself. Structure your workday to maximize efficiency and tailor your schedule to your body’s natural rhythms. Know what will distract you from your priorities and create a plan to minimize those distractions.

Teresa Lawson
, AVP of IT service management for HCA Healthcare, says she’s incorporated many of these practices into her new situation: working from home and taking on a new position.

“COVID-19 created a recipe for a busy work life: learning new areas of responsibility, getting to know new staff and managers, working from home and adjusting to my first pandemic.”

Lawson says she’s avoided burnout by being “intentional” about her daily actions.

“I make it my intention to start and end my day on time and take my lunch break,” she says. “I also created a dedicated home workspace to help me mentally switch between work and home modes.”


At the “office”

The stress of working in hospitals and other healthcare settings during the COVID-19 crisis can be overwhelming, too. Healthcare workers can develop compassion fatigue, or stress caused by exposure to trauma. That’s when it becomes even more critical to take care of yourself.

“It’s easy to play up the importance of self-care to our patients while downplaying it for ourselves,” says Amy Rushton, DNP, APRN-BC, vice president of behavioral health at HCA Healthcare. “Resist the urge. Try and eat right, exercise and sleep. Develop a new hobby, learn a new skill, FaceTime with friends and stay connected.”

Sydney Hester, MD
, an infectious disease physician at TriStar Centennial Medical Center, says she finds wellness and restoration in relationships.

“Time alone reading my Bible and praying keep me grounded, while conversations and playtime with my husband and daughter are fuel to my soul,” she says. “Support from the amazing team at TriStar Centennial gave me the team dynamic to manage the increased workload. But my special place of restoration and health is at the barn, riding my horse, Hughey.”

For Diana Gayle, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, LSSYB, a cardiovascular coordinator at HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball, the coronavirus pandemic meant adjusting to a whole new job description—as the “PPE czar.” Gayle says HCA Healthcare’s mission keeps her positive.

"I believe in our mission: Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. I keep that in my mind and in my heart." - Diana Gayle, cardiovascular coordinator, HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball

Taylor Hoover, RN
, says she never imagined that her first year as an ICU nurse at Reston Hospital Center would come in the midst of a pandemic.

“As cliché as it may sound, it has taught me to appreciate the little things. Little things like surprising my patient with a visit from her daughter, where she could see her and talk on the phone through the glass doors,” says Hoover. “Seeing the smile on her face reminded me exactly why I am an ICU nurse. These little things rejuvenate me mentally, physically and emotionally to keep smiling and keep fighting each day.”

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Topics: Healthcare, Coronavirus, Health & Safety

COVID-19 Back to School Tips

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Aug 10, 2020 3:16:55 PM

Across the country, school districts are announcing reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year. Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released advice, with a number of caveats that advocated “all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”  At the local-level, public health leaders and school officials are considering reopening alongside a myriad of factors – including local COVID-19 spread – before determining how and when students will return to school.

Schools are being asked to be flexible and responsive to new information about the virus. For some families, this may mean remote learning. For others, children may have the option to return to school in-person. Now is the time to prepare for what that may look like.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released guidance for schools to open during COVID-19, which advises schools to “ensure adequate supplies are available to support healthy hygiene practices, and to routinely clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.” In order to support these efforts, the CDC recommends parents reinforce good prevention habits, including washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

The CDC endorses face coverings as an important COVID-19 mitigation strategy, and some schools have opted to include masks in their back-to-school safety plan. While getting kids to wear masks can be tricky, Laura-Anne Cleveland, associate chief nursing officer at HCA Healthcare’s Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children offers the following tips to help:

Practice is key

The best advice we can give is to start practicing. Don’t expect things to be perfect at first, but know that the more they wear masks, the more comfortable they will start to feel in it. By practicing at home, you give them a safe space to take it off for a break as needed.

Build mask endurance

As with any new habit, we recommend starting small. By starting in increments, you can see how they are tolerating it and build up accordingly. It is also particularly important to practice early if you have a child with sensory issues. Try to find a comfortable mask and reward them for the time they wear it by doing fun things while they have it on.

Make it fun

In addition to doing entertaining activities while wearing a mask, you can also make the mask itself fun by having your child decorate it to make it their own. If it’s a paper mask, they can use stickers. If it’s fabric, they can use fabric paint on the outside. Find fabrics that reflect their personality, like their favorite sports team or superhero. You can even attach wings to them if you want to be an angel or something similar. The masks should be something children enjoy wearing.

Explain the ‘why’

Talk to them about germs and how the mask can prevent them from spreading viruses. Older kids may have reservations because they think it is not cool or they are afraid it will contribute to acne, so it’s important to discuss the why behind wearing a mask so they are armed with information if they experience peer pressure to stop wearing it. The CDC has some great tips on how you can discuss COVID-19 with your kids, including remaining calm and reassuring.

Discuss breaks

It’s important for parents to have a discussion with children to make sure they understand that if they need to take the mask off for a breather at school, to make sure they are away from people.

6 questions to ask before returning to school

As plans begin to take shape for schools to reopen, here are some key questions to ask in order to prepare yourself and your children for some of the changes they may see:

  • Will masks be required for students? If so, when and where should they be worn?
  • Am I required to provide a mask for my child or will masks be provided? If I am required to provide a mask, will extras be on-hand if my child forgets or loses their mask?
  • What transportation-related changes should I be aware of? (E.g. pick-up/drop-off protocol, changes to bus routes/times/protocol, etc.)?
  • Will physical distancing be set up within classrooms? What other guidelines on distancing will be adopted that my child should be aware of?
  • Will extracurricular activities resume? If so, what precautions or protocols should I be aware of?
  • Will students or staff at our school be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, and what will happen if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

Supporting mental health during the school year

As kids return to school, it’s important to keep an eye out for stress and anxiety in your child that could be a result of these changes. This can take shape in many different ways, including an increase in physical symptoms, changes in sleep patterns, continually seeking reassurance despite already receiving an answer and acting out.

It is important that adults manage their own emotions regarding the pandemic and remain calm, listen to their children’s concerns, speak kindly and reassure them. In order to help support your child’s mental health about the changes at school as a result of COVID-19, parents should:

  • Encourage conversation about the new protocols and safety rules
  • Practice the new safety rules before starting school
  • Acknowledge and validate the child’s feelings if they are scared or anxious
  • Reassure the child that a lot of adults are working hard to keep everyone safe

If your child’s behaviors persist despite the above interventions, consider contacting a counselor such as an advanced practice nurse, a social worker, a licensed practical counselor or a psychiatrist for further evaluation.

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Topics: Healthcare, Coronavirus, Health & Safety

1.8 Million Jobs Returned in July; Job Growth Pace Slows

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Aug 7, 2020 3:17:56 PM

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) July 2020 Hiring Situation revealed that 1.8 million jobs were gained during the month of July, a pace that is slowing since explosive job gains in the months of May and June . Unemployment edged down  from 11.1% to 10.2%. These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. The economy has regained only 9.3 million of 22 million jobs lost between February and April.

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Topics: Healthcare, Coronavirus, Health & Safety

Partnering Today For a Healthier Tomorrow

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Aug 7, 2020 1:29:31 PM

HCA Healthcare East Florida Division (NYSE:HCA), today announced that it has received a donation of 2,800 face shields from Bombardier Aviation, a global leader in the design, manufacturing and entry into service of cutting edge business jets. The shields were delivered to Fort Lauderdale International Airport aboard a Global 7500 aircraft and were transported to HCA’s Supply Chain distribution center. The materials will then be distributed to HCA’s 15-affiliated facilities across East Florida.

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Topics: Healthcare, Coronavirus, Health & Safety

Young Texas Woman Home After Nearly Three Months in the Hospital Battling COVID-19

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Jul 27, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Paola Castillo spent more than a month in the ICU and on a ventilator at Medical City North Hills, an HCA Healthcare-affiliated facility located in Texas. Nurses, therapists and other staff worked around the clock to provide compassionate care and meaningful connections to the 24 year old patient to keep her motivated and positive during rehabilitation. Castillo, who was released from the hospital after 79 days, regrets not wearing a mask during the pandemic and is thankful to be alive. 

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Topics: Healthcare, Coronavirus, Health & Safety

Mother Who Nearly Died Due to COVID-19 Finally Meets Newborn Son

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Jul 23, 2020 1:29:03 PM

While on a ventilator due to the effects of COVID-19, Jessica Rowlett gave birth to her second child, a son named Rowdy, on May 31 in an emergency
C-section at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. Rowdy was born premature, but healthy. Over the course of several weeks,
Jessica moved out of the ICU and was eventually discharged from the hospital on June 26, the
same day as her son. Although the road to recovery will be long for Rowlett due to decreased lung capacity, she is optimistic that her recovery will go smoothly and is thankful to be home with her family.

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Topics: Healthcare, Coronavirus, Health & Safety

Caring During COVID-19: One Nurse's Experience

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Jul 22, 2020 11:24:27 AM

Doctors Hospital of Augusta, Ga. ICU nurse and graduate of HealthTrust Workforce Solutions' StaRN program, Ashton Crocker provides a detailed, personal and unfiltered glimspe into the hard fight against COVID-19. As shared by Ashton Crocker, "Witnessing families lose their loved ones is one of the hardest parts of nursing. I'm a words person, and in these moments there are never enough adequate words. It is hard." Ashton Crocker's story serves as a powerful reminder for all of us to do our part to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by wearing a face covering, practicing safe social distancing and avoiding large crowds. 

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Topics: Healthcare, Coronavirus, Health & Safety

Florida Patient Beats COVID-19 After Six-Week Coma

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Jul 15, 2020 3:30:00 PM

Pamela Myers spent six weeks in a coma at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, an HCA Healthcare-affiliated facility, in Panama City, Fla. after what she thought was an asthma attack turned out to be a COVID-19 diagnosis. As Pamela woke up unable to take care of herself, she was thankful to have a strong community of peers and healthcare heroes by her side and now strongly urges others to take precautions against COVID-19.

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Topics: Healthcare, Coronavirus, Health & Safety

Mother Gives Birth To Triplets After Battling COVID-19 For More Than A Month

Posted by HealthTrust Workforce Solutions on Jul 14, 2020 3:45:16 PM

Maggie Sillero is a caring mother who was shocked to hear the news that she was having triplets. Due to the high-risk nature of her pregnancy, she was admitted to The Woman's Hospital of Texas in Houston, an HCA-Healthcare affiliated facility. However, Maggie was even more concerned to learn that she had tested positive for COVID-19, despite not leaving her house since March. Understanding the risk that COVID-19 presented to both Maggie and her future babies, the healthcare heroes at The Woman's Hospital of Texas in Houston took extra precautions to make sure both Maggie
and the babies were being well taken care of. 

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Topics: Healthcare, Coronavirus, Health & Safety


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