Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Combat stress techniques help military providers during COVID pandemic

Image of soldier in a hazmat suit with a medical-grade mask Lt. Tiffany Bradley participates in fit testing for an N95 respirator and survival mask at Naval Hospital Okinawa, Okinawa, Japan March 27, 2020. The wearing of protective gear while battling the COVID-19 pandemic can cause adverse reactions in health care workers. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Tori Sharpe)

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Coronavirus

Among the images from the heroic response to the coronavirus pandemic are the faces of medical professionals bruised by personal protective equipment worn during long hospital shifts. Anyone in the military who has done field training exercises in protective gear knows that equipment can be uncomfortable and in some cases, cause panic attacks and other claustrophobic symptoms. These symptoms can lead to noncompliance with guidelines for wearing personal protective equipment, or could result in a member of the medical team being temporarily unable to provide medical services to those in need.

Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research developed a six-step, peer-based intervention to treat panic attacks or severe claustrophobic symptoms in warfighters wearing protective gear. This protocol, called iCover, helps medical providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The six steps follow the acronym iCOVER:

  1. Identify the individual experiencing an acute stress reaction.
  2. Connect with the individual by speaking their name, making eye contact, and holding their arm.
  3. Offer commitment by letting them know they are not alone.
  4. Verify facts with two to three simple questions to get their thinking kickstarted (e.g., “What hospital is this?” and “What section of the hospital are you in?”)
  5. Establish an order of events to ground them in the present moment by stating what happened, what is happening, and what needs to happen in three simple sentences. (e.g., “You donned your PPE. You are checking the seal. We are about to check on a patient.”)
  6. Request action of the individual to restore them to purposeful behavior (e.g., “Double check the oxygen saturation on that patient and report back.”)

WRAIR developed the iCOVER protocol for operational units. However, recent events, have caused medical providers across the nation to request use of iCOVER with hospital staff when they begin to feel panic symptoms due to the wearing of personal protective equipment, or when they become acutely overwhelmed for any reason. These experiences from the field suggest that iCOVER may be a rapid, effective way to help medical team members keep their co-workers in the fight. This is a great example of how techniques developed for combat and operational stress control can play a role in the current fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The iCOVER training video is available on WRAIR’s YouTube channel, and the complete training module with detailed trainer notes is available on request from the Psychological Health Center of Excellence. A specific version of iCOVER training for medical staff is being developed and will be ready soon.

Also, check out the WRAIR COVID19 Leadership Checklist for Mitigating Team Stress.

You also may be interested in...

DHA-PI 6205.01: Medical Logistics Guidance for the DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (n), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA's) procedures for ordering, receiving, and managing COVID-19 Vaccines inventory and ancillary kits.

Navy nurse steps into Jacksonville community for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/7/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask discussing the COVID-19 vaccine program

Navy Cmdr. Glenn “Pete” Bradford is aiding the underserved Jacksonville community in COVID-19 vaccination mission

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DHA-IPM 20-004: Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

Policy

This Defense Health Agency (DHA) Interim Procedures Memorandum (IPM), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance cited in References (e) through (aa), establishes the DHA’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. This DHA-IPM applies to DHA, DHA Components (activities under the authority direction, and control of the DHA), Military Departments (MILDEP), and the United States Coast Guard (CG). This DHA-IPM cancels and replaces DHA-IPM 20-004, “Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation,” December 13, 2020.

Nurse and Tech Week: Air Force airmen are battle-tested and ready

Article
5/6/2021
12 COVID-19 patients aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft

For the past year, Air Force nurses and medical technicians have found themselves on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 disease.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | National Nurses Week | Technology | Nurses Week | Mental Health Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA, HA leaders discuss MHS Transformation at AHA panel

Article
5/6/2021
Military personnel talking at a podium

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place and Dr. Terry Adirim discussed MHS Transformation, MHS GENESIS, and highlighted the DHA’s response to COVID-19 in a virtual roundtable hosted April 12 by the American Hospital Association.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Genesis of MHS GENESIS | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities

EACH celebrates National Nurses Week with a reflection on the pandemic

Article
5/6/2021
Military health personnel inputting information into a computer

Evans Army Community Hospital celebrates National Nurses Week 2021.

Recommended Content:

National Nurses Week | Nurses Week | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine returns to Military Health System

Article
5/4/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine became available April 29 to those in the Military Health System eligible and authorized to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

U.S. continues sending medical supplies to India for COVID-19 fight

Article
5/3/2021
A picture of a C-5M Super Galaxy

DOD provides medical aid to India in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

U.S. Army Medical Team Administers COVID-19 Vaccines in Guam

Article
4/29/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Army medical professionals assist in administering COVID-19 vaccine doses to local Guamanians.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Readiness Capabilities

Military kids are resilient, but far from immune to pandemic effects

Article
4/28/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask holding up posters for Month of the Military Child

Military children are known for being resilient to constant change, but COVID-19 has affected their mental health, too.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Staying Resilient | Coronavirus

COVID-19 remote patient monitoring pilot marks initial successes

Article
4/27/2021
Photo of Army Maj. Daniel Yourk

Virtual health and other digital health technologies are an essential part of care delivery going forward for all patients, and especially the most vulnerable.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Join Us!! Fourth COVID-19 Townhall Update with Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm!

Article
4/27/2021
Fourth MHS Town Hall announcement with image of Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm, discussing the Critical Need for Blood Donations, Wednesday, April 28 at 2 p.m. ET

Join us for the MHS' Fourth COVID-19 Townhall Update with Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS and Military OneSource To Your Health

From coast to coast, Navy personnel helping stop COVID-19 spread

Article
4/26/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask getting people ready for the COVID-19 vaccine

From coast to coast, Navy Medicine personnel are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DHA’s immunization health care specialists support vaccine rollout

Article
4/26/2021
Military personnel getting COVID-19 vaccines ready

The Defense Health Agency’s Immunization Health Care Division specialists were instrumental in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccines to Department of Defense military medical treatment facilities around the world.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DHA Appointing Portal simplifies signing up for COVID-19 vaccination

Article
4/23/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask scheduling COVID-19 vaccine shots

A new online and easy-to-use COVID-19 vaccine appointment portal is rolling out around the world at Military Treatment Facilities. It needs some tweaking on the admin end, users say.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Innovation Month
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 38

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.