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

The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Health Care Workers are Coping

Image of a nurse helping a COVID-19 patient. Health care workers do witness patients at their most vulnerable state, and like most who face high traumatic situations, it is important to maintain a work-life balance. However, the lines are blurring with the COVID-19 battle (Photo by: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciano).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Podcasts

Not so long ago health care workers faced an unknown battle.

The demand for knowledge, experience, and equipment was high. Vaccines were introduced and infection rates started to show progress in the COVID-19 battle.

For health care providers, experiencing the pandemic inside a hospital has brought a new kind of traumatic experience - one that requires resilience in the face of adversity.

Health care workers do witness patients at their most vulnerable state, and like most who face high traumatic situations, it is important to maintain a work-life balance.

However, the lines are blurring with the COVID-19 battle. Some health care workers, for example, are self-isolating and staying onsite to prevent the spread of infection. From these experiences, mental health providers are noticing frontline health care providers developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Health care workers have experienced a battle with initially little knowledge and supplies. They are continually learning as they go and making life-changing decisions daily," said Dr. Kelly Blasko, a counseling psychologist and lead of the Defense Health Agency's mHealth Clinical Integration Office in the Connected Health Branch. "On top of that, the lack of rest and isolation is heightening their stress and impacting their coping abilities. Self-care for these health care providers is more important now than ever."

"The Provider Resilience toolkit was developed to support burnout in health care providers, and help enable them to provide the best care to our military community," she continued.

The DHA Connected Health Branch continues to leverage digital health technology and bringing health care resources to providers in a digital fashion. The toolkit, mentioned by Blasko, reminds medical professionals to be aware of the signs of burnout, take a break when noticing the signs, and to create a positive work environment.

"I've noticed when my body starts to feel off, my mind kind of follows," said Air Force Senior Airman Clayton Johnson, a mobile medic.

"If I start to feel physically tired, I'm going to feel a bit mentally groggy, a bit more worn out, maybe I need to continue to work on my bedside manner in terms of how I talk to patients."

Along with tips, the toolkit suggests four digital health apps to support health care providers who are coping with the ever-changing environment that has been the created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Breathe2Relax teaches diaphragmatic breathing to de-escalate stress
  • Virtual Hope Box contains personalized tools to help with positive coping through relaxation, distraction, and connecting to others in a time of need.
  • Provider Resilienceoffers self-assessments and stress reduction tools along with a dashboard to track your daily resilience rating.
  • Military Meditation Coach Podcast helps with strengthening the mind with a variety of meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation exercises.

Recognizing burnout and focusing on self-care, allows health care workers to be medically ready and continue the battle against COVID-19.

It's important for them to focus on themselves during these high-stress times, explained Blasko.

You also may be interested in...

Defense Department Announces Distribution of COVID-19 Tests for Military Beneficiaries

Article
2/25/2022
A Soldier assigned to the Connecticut National Guard helps load a shipment of at-home COVID-19 testing kits into a truck at a regional distribution point in North Haven, Connecticut, Jan. 3, 2022. These kits were picked up by representatives from local towns and municipalities to be handed out to their communities.

The Department of Defense will offer at-home COVID-19 tests for military beneficiaries at military hospitals or clinics, on a supply available basis, in the coming weeks.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | At-Home COVID-19 Tests | Coronavirus

Latasha Smith: Warrior against COVID-19

Article Around MHS
2/18/2022
Military personnel looking at a patient's cardiac rhythm

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Latasha Smith, an Airman assigned to the 86th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, was celebrated as Airlifter of the Week, Jan. 27, 2022, after leading the assault against COVID-19 for over a year.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Military Medical Units Support Civilian Hospitals Strained By COVID-19 Surge

Article
2/14/2022
Air Force Staff Sgt. Bradley Gorman, a medical technician assigned to a military medical team deployed to Yuma, Arizona performs a nasal swab at the Yuma Regional Medical Center’s COVID testing drive-thru in Yuma, Jan. 17, 2022.

Thousands of service members have been supporting civilian hospitals with testing, vaccinations and treatment of seriously ill patients.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 therapeutics support DOD pandemic response

Article Around MHS
2/11/2022
Military personnel getting COVID-29 doses ready

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency is helping to protect the operational force by distributing several new therapeutic options that help to lessen the symptoms of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 and keep Soldiers, their families and beneficiaries out of the hospital.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines continues to study long-term effects of COVID-19 on Marines

Article Around MHS
2/10/2022
Medical military personnel talking to a patient

A team composed of U.S. Navy medical personnel and civilian technicians based out of the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, assembled during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 to study the short and long-term effects that the virus has on Marines. 

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

Video
2/9/2022
Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

CSM Gragg demonstrates how to use a COVID-19 at home rapid test.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | At-Home COVID-19 Tests | Coronavirus

Getting up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccine

Article Around MHS
2/8/2022
Military personnel giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Guard Coast is that we have vaccines to help prevent serious illness if you contract COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DOD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide Version 8

Technical Document
1/31/2022

This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DOD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

Oregon National Guard surging to support hospitals again

Article Around MHS
1/27/2022
Oregon Army National Guard touring a hospital

Hundreds of Oregon National Guard members are increasing support of hospitals throughout the state in their second hospital relief mission during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Readiness Capabilities

Public Health nurses offer insights on living with COVID-19 now, looking into future

Article Around MHS
1/25/2022
The Challenges of Living with COVID

One of the more challenging jobs for any public health professional is dealing with unpredictability inherent in outbreaks like the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Do You Have COVID-19? Influenza? Or is it RSV? Here’s What to Look For

Article
1/24/2022
Military personnel preparing a COVID-19 test sample for processing

Knowing the symptoms of COVID-19/RSV/Flu will help your medical treatment

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine | Coronavirus

Medical Leaders Address COVID-19 Concerns During Family Forum

Article
1/21/2022
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jemuel Macabali, from San Diego, Calif., gives the COVID-19 vaccine to staff at Camp Lemonnier, in Djibouti, Aug. 13, 2021.

Top health leaders talk about the recent spike in COVID-19 infections and the impact on the military community.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Navy Hospital Corpsman steps into the breach in the war on COVID-19

Article Around MHS
1/18/2022
Hospitalman Hector Conde standing in front of a immunization office's refrigeration

First responders and those fighting on the medical battleground have earned well-deserved recognition for their efforts.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Critically ill COVID Patient Delivers Baby While on Heart-Lung Bypass

Article
1/11/2022
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hernandez and his wife, Ashley, take a family portrait with their six children. Ashley is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Hernandez, a Marine Corps spouse and mother of five, is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Coronavirus

This is my Why

Article Around MHS
12/30/2021
Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock poses for a photo after receiving his COVID-19 vaccination

Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock stated his reason for getting the vaccine was to help his mother and son be able to have a play date again.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 26
Refine your search
Last Updated: June 14, 2022

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.