We've all been weathering the impact of a two-year pandemic that continues to affect our lives and requires constant adaptations. Childcare, eldercare, social connections, travel, conferences, and our general way of life has changed. Even the most resilient individuals working in healthcare and education are struggling with some level of burnout. The intensity of caring for patients during a pandemic, the demands often exceeding the staffing resources, constant changes, the unexpected deaths related to COVID, and level of emotional exhaustion is real.
We hoped that we were going to get back to "normal", but the Delta variant has swept through the country and made its way to Nashville. It feels like déjà vu, except at this point we still have access to toilet paper. At this juncture, Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students are mostly protected by vaccinations.
The past year has been hard on our mental health. The good news is that there is greater awareness that we all need for regular self-care. Work/Life Connections-EAP shares tips on how to stay resilient as we continue to deal with difficult times.
Some people enjoy a drink periodically to socialize, to unwind, or to enhance a meal. While 80% of problem drinkers are employed, 8% of Americans have a diagnosable alcohol disorder. According to several studies, alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic, especially in women. When it comes to alcohol consumption, how much is too much?
The Coronavirus pandemic has been traumatizing and 2020 has been an exhausting year. As a result, many have been living much of the time in "survival mode." Anxiety, fear, and trauma interrupt our ability to readily access our frontal cortex. This is the part of our brain that controls our cognitive skills including problem solving, memory, and emotional expression. It serves as the brain's "dispatch center." When functioning in survival mode, it is harder to focus, prioritize, and effectively manage conflict. This can impact an individual's productivity.
We often find ourselves walking by someone and casually say, "How are you doing?" and we fully expect that they will answer, "Fine," and we will both continue walking. Somehow, these days seem different. Vanderbilt's Work/Life Connections-EAP gives some tips on how to check in on your friends and colleagues in this time of greater stress.
For the convenience and productivity of Vanderbilt faculty and staff, the Occupational Health Clinic (OHC), which includes OHC's Faculty/Staff Express Care, now offers employees the ability to go online to schedule same-day and next-day sick visit appointments.
Based on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, employees no longer need annual TB testing. The CDC's new guidelines no longer recommend routine annual TB testing for health care workers, and the "Tuberculin (TB) Skin Testing: for Health Care Personnel" policy has been updated to reflect the CDC's recommendations. The CDC made this new recommendation as a result of efforts that showed that the U.S.