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Suicide Prevention Month

Photo Credit: Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Have you taken a moment to check on your family and friends? How about checking on the “strongest person that you know?” They need to be checked on as well. We have all been trying to get through this pandemic while still going to school, working, and taking care of home. Stress, anxiety, and depression levels have skyrocketed! Take time out each day for a “mental moment.” Meditate, go for a walk, listen to music, paint, etc. Engaging in these types of positive coping skills can help improve your mental health. If you find yourself participating in negative coping behaviors, please seek help from a mental health professional. There is no shame in doing so!



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Nurses: It’s OK to be Scared!

It was 2014, and I was working in an internal medicine office. Suddenly, a patient walked in with complaints of fever, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting! The patient reported that they had just returned from Africa a week ago, and that’s when the office felt like it stood still! Although all clinical staff completed an in-service about the Ebola virus, we were all terrified! Yes, we were all professional and took care of the patient, however, the fear of possibly contracting the virus still crossed our minds.

Recent news reports about the coronavirus have lots of people panicking, which is to be expected. However, as healthcare professionals, people depend on us for healthcare information and proper care. So is it alright for you as a healthcare team member to be scared in certain situations? Yes, it is! We are all human and you will encounter anxiety or fear about working with patients who are diagnosed with certain viruses or diseases. What matters is what you do when you encounter them!

Remember that you have been trained to critically think and handle challenging situations within healthcare! You stay current on evidenced-based practices, know what type of precautions to take, and which personal protective equipment to don. Most importantly, you know how to treat your patient as a person and not the virus or disease that they were admitted with!

The next time that you feel frightened when caring for a certain population of patients, just remember that those feelings are absolutely normal! Take a brief moment to regroup, let that healthcare training kick into high gear, and go save those lives!