Providence Treatment has partnered with the Pennsylvania Nurse Peer Assistance Program (PNAP) to launch a new support group. The aim? To provide support for nursing staff in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
Catering to the Needs of a Profession
Before the coronavirus swept the nation, the World Health Organization named 2020 “The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” to celebrate the efforts of more than 20 million workers worldwide. This observance proved to be prophetic. Beginning in 2020, the global pandemic created an extraordinary challenge for those involved in healthcare.
The International Council of Nurses outlined the effects of the coronavirus surge on nurses. In the article, ICN CEO Howard Catton stated, “We are witnessing a unique and complex occupational trauma that is affecting the global nursing workforce. Nurses are dealing with relentless, unprecedented demands for their patients, resulting in physical exhaustion. But they are also facing enormous mental health pressures leading to serious psychological distress.”
According to ICN’s data, the proportion of nurses self-reporting mental health concerns has risen from 60% to 80% since the first wave. Depression, anxiety, and burnout are all major issues causing healthcare workers to leave the profession altogether.
Substance Use Disorder Among Nurses
Researchers have found that exposure to illness, trauma, and death – along with high-pressure settings and heavy workloads – predispose healthcare workers to substance use disorder. The pandemic has worsened this problem. Some nurses seek to alleviate stress with a glass of wine after work. This quickly turns into two glasses, three, and then a bottle. Those in the healthcare field are also more likely to develop a dependency on opioid medication, in part because of their access to these drugs. Because of these factors, it is crucial for nursing staff to access addiction support services in the midst of this challenging time.
A Unique Experience Just for Nurses
Providence Treatment recognizes the effect of COVID-19 on nurses. In partnership with PNAP, we have worked to design a group especially for this population. Our hope is that nurses will be able to process their stress, emotional trauma, and substance use disorder as a unit. By sharing their struggles, participants will gain insight and understanding from others in the same position. This decreases feelings of isolation among healthcare workers, whose family members may struggle to relate to their experiences.
Other benefits of our Recovery and Wellness group include:
The Principle of Universality
This term, borrowed from Dr. Irvin Yalom, means that participating in a group helps you to understand that others struggle with the same things that you do.
Being Helped (And Helping Each Other)
Group settings are the perfect illustration of give and take. Building a therapeutic alliance with other members creates a group bond. This support network brings together nurses from all different backgrounds, opinions, and specialties.
Growing as a Person
These sessions further your growth as a full-fledged adult. Whether you learn to take feedback, incorporate healthy coping mechanisms, or express yourself to others, group therapy promotes personal development.
Join the Group
This group will be offered on a fully outpatient basis. Meetings are planned for every Saturday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Providence Treatment office in Philadelphia. Our first meeting takes place this Saturday, December 11th.
To meet the needs of nurses, we offer a hybrid of in-person and virtual options for attendance.
1528 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
To join our group, please call the Providence Treatment office at (484) 445-4145.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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