12:33 PM

Platte Valley launches RESET program to promote caregiver well-being

Care Fair at Platte Valley Medical Center

Platte Valley Medical Center recognizes that caregivers have experienced unprecedented levels of stress, trauma and burnout during the last two years while battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of certainty, stability and safety generate anxiety and exhaustion in the hospital setting. While the challenging elements of COVID may dominate our days, there are aspects we can control, like how we respond individually, as teams and as an organization. 

It's imperative that the needs of staff be addressed and support is offered in a variety of ways. That's why we’ve launched a new RESET program.

RESET stands for Resilience, Empathy and Support for Employees and Teams. This program was established to promote individual self-care tactics, develop customized programs for specific departments, support leaders and make well-being a priority.

Last year, Karen Vizyak, Resilience Integration Specialist at Platte Valley Medical Center, and several associates went through a Train the Trainer program through the Tend Academy based out of Canada. The Academy works with first responders and others in fields associated with trauma to help deal with things like burnout, compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, and more. 

The program’s training and resources were the catalyst for creating RESET. A committee was formed in fall 2021, and in January 2022, the program was rebranded into RESET. The RESET Committee consists of a core implementation team and a nursing resource team who joins monthly to get feedback from and bounce ideas off of each other.

One of RESET's kick-off events was the Care Fair, which took place in February. Staff was invited to stop by several interactive stations which incorporated ways to take care of body, mind and soul. Breathing, stretching and mindful movement techniques were demonstrated, spiritual care resources were available, aromatherapy was offered, and much more. Staff also enjoyed pet therapy, spinning a wheel to win prizes and writing things they were grateful for on posterboard for all to see. 

“There are a lot of different directions we’re going to take,” said Karen. “One thing we started to do is deeper dives into specific departments. We present an overview of the occupational hazards associates may be experiencing, naming and normalizing the symptoms of burnout, secondary trauma and empathic strain. Then we explain interventions we can provide to improve well-being for individuals, teams, leaders and the organization as a whole."

Karen’s team is also surveying different departments with the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) survey and interviewing people to get a better understanding of what they’re feeling and what challenges they’re facing, since challenges vary greatly from department to department.

Once that data is collected, the team customizes plans to meet specific department needs. These plans can include everything from improving systems, workflows and efficiency, to boosting the culture of the team and how they work together, to implementing well-being practices that can be interspersed throughout the day, or whenever people are feeling stressed. 

In addition,a monthly hospital-wide event is held. In January, staff participated in RESET at Recess, where they were invited to take a break, make hot chocolate with their unit, and log one thing they were grateful for that day. 

“Employee well-being affects everything from engagement and retention, to safety, patient experience and decreasing chances of errors,” said Karen. “If your staff isn’t in a good place, it’s going to affect every other area. We want to highlight that and make it a bigger priority. If we can be the kind of organization that really supports our staff it can make a huge difference.”