December 8, 2020 | Iman Abuzeid, MD
Nurses have faced indescribable physical and mental hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic, from higher rates of exposure and mortality to increased reports of burnout and declining mental health. Our frontline workers have placed themselves at risk and are suffering from excessive stress. Through it all, nurses have remained dedicated caregivers and beacons of hope to their patients. As the health crisis continues, our nurses are owed the same respect and care they so willingly provide, as well as resources to ensure their wellbeing.
According to a recent study of New York-based healthcare workers during the COVID-19 peak in April 2020, nurses were among those reporting the highest levels of stress with 64% of nurses and advanced practice providers reporting symptoms of acute stress – ranging from nightmares to inability to stop thinking about the virus. Loneliness and insomnia were also prevalent in this group, as was fear of infecting family and friends. The study, conducted by experts at NewYork-Presbyterian, noted that nurses experience these stressors at a higher rate as they spend more time delivering direct patient care.
At Incredible Health, we’re committed to supporting nurses and providing a safe place for them to reflect and recharge. It’s part of our vision of helping healthcare professionals live better lives. We are dedicated to developing a community for nurses at every stage of their career, from finding a permanent job to offering support and resources when times get tough.
That’s why we’re proud to announce a suite of products designed to help nurses combat stress and burnout. These new resources help nurses build community, seek support and advice, and reflect on their workdays. We hope these tools will help nurses care for themselves and their mental health during the ongoing pandemic and beyond.
The new features include:
The Incredible Health Nurse Community
A free online community built exclusively for nurses.
We created the Incredible Health Nurse Community to offer nurses a safe place to support one another during periods of stress and uncertainty. Nurses have the option to post to the Nurse Community anonymously to get the advice and support they need without fear of employers seeing the content. Conversations happening in the community range from advice on how to transition between specialties to strategies for coping with burnout. There are also lighthearted conversations on a variety of topics, like favorite scrub brands.
A Daily Nurse Journal
A free digital journaling platform.
We created a digital journal where nurses take inventory of their emotions with structured daily prompts designed to help them process stress more effectively. Nurse burnout was a pervasive problem even before the pandemic, with 54% of nurses in a recent study reporting some burnout symptoms. According to a study in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, written reflection has a positive effect on the ability of nurses to handle stress, burnout, and trauma/compassion fatigue. We built the digital journal feature into our platform with the hopes that, when combined with our other features, it alleviates some of the stress associated with the nursing role.
“As a nurse myself, I cannot begin to stress the importance of having a trusted community to lean on for support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lea Zinyemba, RN, a Personal Talent Advocate on the Incredible Health platform. “The pandemic has made nursing, an already stressful career, even more challenging and a strong support network and community like Incredible Health is essential for nurses to navigate their careers and have access to resources to manage their day-to-day.”
When a nurse is looking for a new role, in addition to full access to automated matching and scheduling, we pair them with a Personal Talent Advocate, like Lea, who helps them navigate their careers. Their Talent Advocate provides interview coaching, helps evaluate their job options, and shares resume tips. We are the only platform where nurses have access to this kind of one-on-one support backed by technology at scale.
In addition to new features, we are excited to announce our expansion to health systems in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada. Serving these new states will allow us to help more nurses find the right permanent role and more health systems urgently fill vacancies, as hospitalization rates skyrocket nationwide. Throughout the pandemic, we have helped hospitals hire the permanent nurses required to deliver better care to patients, minimize burnout from excessive overtime, and reduce significant costs associated with temporary travel nurses.
We have enhanced our platform throughout the pandemic to help hospitals and nurses find permanent roles with a speed-to-hire time of 12 days. These new free nurse services demonstrate our continued commitment to nurses and health systems, and further our mission to help healthcare professionals live better lives and to do their best work.