The COVID-19 pandemic has sent healthcare staff into overdrive. Not only are they required to report for duty during this crisis, but their workloads and stress levels have increased tenfold. This is just as true for doctors who are treating patients with COVID-19 as it is for nursing assistants who are shoring up prevention procedures in long-term care facilities. There’s never been a more important time for healthcare administrators to help their staff stay informed, supported, uplifted, and appreciated.
Communicating with healthcare staff, patients and guests is much easier when you have a shared, highly visible medium such as workplace digital signage—large screens placed throughout your facility that can display messaging from healthcare administrators. Here are some helpful tips on the types of messages to post during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Setting the record straight about COVID-19
There is so much conflicting, confusing messaging about COVID-19 in the news and on social media. It’s important to share information sourced from trusted organizations such as the CDC and WHO. With the verified facts, you can cover the basics about what COVID-19 is, how it’s transmitted, its symptoms, and how to prevent it.
This pandemic calls for extreme adherence to personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare industry workers. Their use of the proper gloves, masks, eye shields, etc. will not just protect themselves from possible COVID-19 infection; it’ll also protect their loved ones, other staff members and patients against transmission.
In addition to the general facts about COVID-19 that come from trusted sources, there will be custom messaging that healthcare administrators will want to post. This messaging should include approved procedures, planning and updates that are particular to your facility, staff and local community. Be sure to keep this information up to date and easy to read. Because this type of crisis management content is crucial to health and wellness, always make it clear who to contact if there is a question or concern.
Healthcare staff appreciation & lowering stress
We’re seeing social media posts from friends, family, peers, celebrities and just about everyone thanking healthcare workers. Let them see how much their workplace community appreciates their help, too. Take a moment to collect and post appropriate tweets to your digital signage that show appreciation, or showcase thank-you content that you create in-house. These messages can be a great morale-booster as tired staff look for a bit of hope and understanding.
In a crunch for time? Experts point out that even a beautiful image of a garden, a beach, a flower, etc. can work wonders for stress relief. When you consider that some staff may not have even seen the light of day in a while, a little bit of simulated greenery holds all the more meaning.
It’s also important for staff to know when they should be looking after themselves. Employees should recognize the signs of being over-stressed and what they can do about it. You may be able to find sources for messaging like this that is already built for you. If there are additional resources through your network and organization, now’s the time to make that clear.
What not to put on hold because of COVID-19
Don’t allow COVID-19 communications to take over your entire workplace digital signage messaging strategy. We are all being overwhelmed with crisis messaging and need a break.
Ask yourself: If it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic, what would I be posting on our workplace digital signage? Certainly, some of those answers won’t apply because events have been canceled, etc., but what about everything else?
Especially in a time of stress, staff and patient recognition can go a long way to helping morale. How would guests at a long-term care facility normally celebrate a birthday? If receiving cards and visitors is no longer an option, turn to your message boards. Make residents instant stars with full-screen coverage that celebrates their big day.
Our commitment to the healthcare industry: Marlin is about more than just crisis communication. We’re here every day to help you improve workplace communication, wellness, morale and so much more at your facilities. We recognize that healthcare staff, under normal circumstances, see sources of stress that are unique to their industry. As pointed out in this Exposure to Stress document from the CDC and NIOSH, these normal stressors include exposure to infectious and hazardous substances, shift work, long work hours, work overload, sleep deprivation, dealing with death and dying, and patient expectations.
We provide the tools to help you address these issues on a regular basis. Whether you utilize Marlin’s COVID-19 Toolbox page for free content now, or you’re looking for a long-term partnership for enhanced messaging strategy, we’re here for you. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.