All across the healthcare industry people are being called to serve in Nurse and Nurse Practitioner roles, and in a crisis situation, there is an even greater need. The current COVID-19 Pandemic meets the criteria of a crisis situation and support from a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is now more crucial than ever. A Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice nurse that seeks to improve mental health care and the overall health status of communities.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, what most people are currently experiencing are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. Stress, fear, and worry are very common and these symptoms are often a result of the fear of the unknown. Because of this fear, you may be experiencing sleep disturbance, increased or decreased appetite, irritability, decreased energy, and/or decreased immunity.
According to Jess Calohan, Director of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at Frontier Nursing University, even in a crisis situation, there are a few things you can do to help manage stress. These self-care strategies include focusing on what you can control, staying present in the here and now, maintaining a daily routine as much as possible, taking care of basic needs (like food, water, sleep, etc.), limiting the amount of time spent on social media and consuming news, making time for yourself, and having regular touchpoints with co-workers- especially if you aren’t used to working from home.
There are a few other resources that may be beneficial for you. The crisis text line is available to you if you would like to text with a mental health professional (741741). If you or someone you know are struggling significantly or experiencing depression, the suicide prevention hotline is also available (1-800-273-8255). Lastly, there are multiple apps for stress management that you can download based on your needs.
Just remember, you are not alone. Everyone is in the situation together and this is a very normal reaction to a very abnormal situation. If you do find that your symptoms are getting increasingly worse, reach out to your healthcare provider. Help-seeking behaviors are an opportunity for self-improvement and not a sign of weakness. If you would like more information on COVID-19 self care practices, click here.
Frontier Nursing University is one of the largest not for profit universities in the United States for advanced nursing and midwifery education. They offer specialty tracks for Nurse-Midwifery, Family Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and degrees including Doctor of Nursing Practice and, Master of Science in Nursing as well as,and Post-Graduate Certificates. If you are interested in learning more about Frontier Nursing University, visit their website at https://frontier.edu/