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COVID-19: Mental Health Resilience for Health Care Professionals

15 Clinical Points Only Scholarship Access


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Introduction

Currently South Africa is in various stages of lockdown to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and so are many other countries in Africa and worldwide. The nationwide lockdown is necessary to disrupt the chain of transmission of the Corona virus across society but, has serious effects on many aspects of our daily lives, especially, as we are social beings, on our mental health and well-being.

Moreover, all Frontline Workers, especially Healthcare Providers (HCPs) providing essential services in clinics and hospitals, are foremost at risk as they are in daily contact with sick patients in a potentially threatening situation. For them it is not only a matter of social distancing. It is much more. In essence, it is finding a way to survive within their professional and ethical obligation to render a service to the sick and needy. This might trigger a variety of emotions from stress-related physical manifestations to experiencing emotional roller coasters. Manifestations of this might range from panic attacks to anxiety and depression. Healthcare Providers play a pivotal role in managing the epidemic, we should make special provision to support them in managing their mental well-being. This course will focus on engagement and activities to minimise the effect of this ongoing epidemic on HCPs.

This e-Learning course will guide all HCPs in taking simple steps to ensure that they stay mentally fit and healthy while involved in providing essential health services during COVID-19.


Who Should Enroll

All Healthcare Providers (HCPs) involved in providing essential and ongoing services to sick patients during the COVID-19 epidemic in Africa.


Course Design

Online e-learning education through interactive learning activities, videos, presentations and articles.

The course is designed in such a way that different topics are covered in 5 modules in order to maintain and improve mental resilience for HCPs during the lockdown period and after the lifting of restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19.


Learning Outcomes

After completion of this learning experience, participants should be able to:

  1. Examine the advantages and disadvantages of working remotely utilising and transferring to digital platforms in your work environment

  2. Explain the physical reactions to lockdown causing stress, anxiety, burnout for everybody dealing with COVID-19 patients and/or being in lockdown

  3. Relate how the COVID epidemic has exacerbated existing stressors for Frontline Workers and discuss means of creating resilience to cope with them

  4. Discuss the psycho-social effects of COVID-19 on patients and healthcare workers

    • List ways to minimise social stigma.
    • Describe ways to minimise anxiety and stress in sick children during COVID-19 and provide advice to parents to deal with the situation.
    • Discuss the psychological components of quarantine and the effect on patients, family, healthcare providers and the community.
  5. Discuss the effects when lifting the Lockdown by delving deeper into mental health issues during COVID-19 and Post COVID-19. Implement interventions in your life to promote mental health resilience and inner peace.


Course Content

The following modules are covered in this short course:

Module 1 – Introduction:

Digital transformation in business is here to stay – what does it mean to work remotely.

Module 2 – Lockdown and mental health:

  • Introduction to the importance of mental well-being- the introductory Module 1 of Mental Health Survival Toolkit, Prof C. Grobler
  • Managing Stress: Tips for Coping with the Stress and Preventing burn-out during COVID-19: Some individuals may be more susceptible to stress during an outbreak, including those with prior mental health conditions. This module focusses on stress-related reactions and possible strategies to cope with them.
  • Managing burnout – How to recognize and cope with burn-out
  • Emergency Responders: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself
    Recognizing signs of burnout including sadness or apathy, frustration, irritability, isolation/disconnection, feeling exhausted or overwhelmed, substance use and discuss remedial actions.

Module 3 – Support Frontline Healthcare Workers in dealing with COVID-19 and the exacerbation of stressors

This module discusses in detail the existing stressors for Frontline Workers exacerbated through the epidemic and ways to deal with them.

Heightened demands for healthcare workers during an outbreak include:

  • increased workload;
  • potential separation from family/friends;
  • fears about infection to self and others;
  • stigma.

Preparedness can reduce stress among healthcare workers managing an outbreak.

  • Specific training in outbreak-related protocols and communication/planning among staff can increase self-efficacy.
  • Self-care strategies include: (1) self-monitoring/pacing; (2) checking in regularly with family/friends/colleagues; (3) taking self-care breaks for relaxation and stress reduction; (4) practicing healthy self-talk and calibrating realistic appraisals of threat; (5) balancing acceptance vs. control; (6) connecting to hope and patience; (7) avoiding unhelpful coping strategies like substance use or ignoring personal needs by overworking.

Module 4 - Psycho-social aspects of COVID-19 affecting healthcare workers and patients including children and how to minimise social stigma. It discusses ways to support kids and teens in terms of: Am I safe? Are my caregivers safe? How will my daily life be affected?

  • The Psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it.

Module 5 – Surviving post COVID-19: Staying Real and Robust

  • Delving deeper into mental health well-being during COVID-19 – Prof C Grobler on How to Cope with Anxiety, Panic attacks and Depression during COVID-19 and promote mental resilience.
  • The Psychological Aftermath After Lockdown –
    Psycho-social consequences of COVID-19 aftermath and possible interventions
  • Integrating Mindfulness and Meditation into your daily life
  • Creative ways to stay sane and resilient
  • Latch onto routine and discipline to stay focussed

Time

This eLearning short course should take approximately 12 hours to complete over any suitable period of time.


Assessment

To qualify for a certificate all participants will be assessed through Multiple Choice Questions after each module.


Certification

Accredited according to the HPCSA’s Medical and Dental Board Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals for 15 Clinical CEU’s on Level 2

To qualify for the certificate of completion for this short course, participants should complete the full e-learning course.


Sponsorship

This course has been made available through generous sponsorship from the Johnson & Johnson Foundation


Contact

Mrs Madelene Engelbrecht

Foundation for Professional Development

Email: healthscience@foundation.co.za
Tel: 087 821 1109
Website: www.foundation.co.za
Address: P.O. Box 75324, Lynnwood Ridge, 0040


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