How to cope with redeployment during COVID-19

How to cope with redeployment during COVID-19

With COVID-19 cases increasing, healthcare professionals may be temporarily redeployed to facilities with limited staff.  Redeployment, especially during a pandemic can be stressful as workers are now being asked to contribute their skills to an unfamiliar department or facility, leaving family and friends for an undisclosed period. The stress of the pandemic and temporary move may take a toll on healthcare professionals.
 

So how do you cope when you’ve been asked to redeploy?  Here are some steps healthcare workers can take to cope with the challenges of redeployment.

Seek Advice

Redeployment can be stressful, seeking advice from coworkers and supervisors can help.  If you are working in a department or area out of your expertise, it’s important to seek the advice of colleagues in that field or department. Connecting with colleagues helps you understand your new role and how best to assist patients. Communicating with colleagues who have temporarily moved or who are aware of the redeployment process is essential when working in a new place, plus, having guidance allows you to work at ease, during stressful moments. While seeking advice, know that it’s okay to ask your manager questions before your redeployment.   

Questions to ask before deployment

  • What department and/facility will I be redeveloped to
  • Is there an estimated time frame for this move
  • What level of care do patients need in this new role
  • Scope of work: What will I be doing?  
  • Who will be my point of contact?
  • What/are there any safety factors I should be concerned with
  • Is there training needed for this new role?
  • Can I refuse this redeployment? 

Connect with your manager or supervisor if you have questions about redeployment.  Remember to record your conversations.

Become familiar with your role and environment

Redeployment can mean you’re being deployed to a different department, facility, state, or practicing outside your scope of work. For example, a psychiatrist asked to cover internal or nurse practitioner asked to work in a different state. You should set up a time to meet with your supervisor and potential supervisor is essential and allow allows for a smoother transition. By connecting, both you and the supervisor can evaluate if your current skills are appropriate for your new role and what your role will entail. It’s also the perfect time to familiarize yourself with the environment. Asking about their safety process and PPT/equipment is provided, the patient demographic, and familiarizing yourself with the new facilities scheduling or work process allows for a less stressful move before you’re redeployed.  

Self-care

Between the pandemic, long shifts, limited supplies, and redeployment, healthcare professionals are under higher levels of stress. It is essential during this time to practice self-care, especially when coping with redeployment.

Here are some things you can do to Self-care while coping

  • Connecting with family and friends during this time: Although talking and seeking advice from supervisors and coworkers is essential when moving, so is connecting with family and friends. Sometimes redeployment means moving away from your family, staying connecting and scheduling time to talk with family or friends can ease tension, allows you to feel closer to them. 
  • Exercising and meditating: Exercising and meditating can help you destress.  There are meditating and exercise i.e yoga videos on YouTube that you can check. Apps such as Calm and InsightTimer are free mindful meditation apps that can be used anywhere.  Both are available for download on Android and iOS
  • Connecting with a therapist or counselor: Talking to a therapist about COVID-19 and your feelings about redeployment is important for your mental wellbeing. As COVID-19  cases increases, healthcare workers and frontline workers focus their time on caring for patients, it’s important to check and care for yourself. Checking in with a therapist and talking “it out” with a therapist is therapeutic and good for your health.
    • Headspace, a mental health app is offering all US healthcare professionals who work in   settings free access to Headspace Plus through 2020

It’s important to connect with others when trying to cope with redeployment. Whether you connect with family, managers, or seek a therapist, connecting with others is important during these stressful times. As a healthcare professional during COVID-19, the stress or the pandemic and potential redeployment can be challenging. Remember to ask questions, share your concerns, and ask for what you need. It’s important to have to check in’s, reach out to your support groups, and take care of yourself.

Additional Resources

It’s important to stay connected, check out some Support Groups you connect with during COVID-19


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About the author

Joycelyn Ghansah

Joycelyn Ghansah is a former Healthcare Organizer with a background public health, include reproductive and sexual health. When she's not freelance writing, she's transcribing interviews and researching ways to strengthen healthcare labor laws.

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