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...

DHA-Policy Memorandum 21-004: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Attestation, Screening Testing, and Vaccination Verification

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the implementation of vaccination, attestation, and testing requirements in accordance with the References listed in Attachment 1 to reduce the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

6205.01

Policy

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

20-004

Policy

Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

DHA COVID19 Medical Coding PolicyV5 1v

Policy

Establishes the DHA procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) within military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). This memorandum replaces DHA-Policy Memorandum 20-003 of July 1, 2020. Attachment 1 was updated to include the 2021 procedure and diagnosis codes for COVID-19, including the new vaccination and treatment codes.

  • Identification #: 20-003
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus

TAB A MEO COVID19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

Memorandum for DHA Staff - Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

  • Identification #: N/A
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus

Supplemental Guidance for Providing DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccines to DoD Contractor Employees and Select Foreign Nationals

Policy

This memorandum provides supplemental guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, in accordance with reference (a). The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components as appropriate.

HA Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Laboratory Pre-Testing Questionnaire

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance for a COVID-19 laboratory pre-testing questionnaire that will be mandatory for all Active Duty Service members and encouraged for all other DoD beneficiaries treated at military medical treatment facilities.

Executive Order on Ensuring Access to United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines

Policy

This EO outlines who should receive priority access to COVID-19 vaccines developed in the United States or procured by the United States Government (“United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines”).

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components.

3020.01, Change 2

Policy

Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Environment

  • Identification #: 3020.01
  • Date: 11/3/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Coronavirus

3020.01, Change 1

Policy

Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Environment

  • Identification #: 3020.01
  • Date: 6/12/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Coronavirus

Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) Memorandum, based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) and (d), establishes the DHA’s procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs). This memorandum cancels and replaces DHA- Policy Memorandum 20-003 of (13 April 2020). A change was issued since the cancelled Memorandum 20-003 of (13 April 2020), the Attachment titles were updated to reflect that Attachments 1, 2, and 4 are considered Policies as opposed to Guidance.

  • Identification #: 20-003
  • Date: 5/13/2020
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus
Showing results 1 - 12 Page 1 of 1
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.