Sustaining the Well-Being of Healthcare During Pandemic and Beyond

June 2, 2022 | 9:45 – 11:00 am Concurrent Block E

E-3  Sustaining the Well-Being of Healthcare During Pandemic and Beyond

CE Credits: HRCI, NAB

Any pandemic (like COVID-19), natural or community disaster, or widespread infection will be associated with increased uncertainty and stress. When we are under stress, we are more likely to trigger the “survival” or “fight or flight” responses in our brain. For some, this may mean difficulty with executive functions, for others, difficulty managing emotional responses, and for others, it may mean difficulty making decisions. How we respond to these situations is individualized. Each of these situations will affect us as healthcare workers, our interactions with residents and staff, and our future interactions. The coronavirus specifically is presenting new and unique challenges. We are navigating unchartered waters with this virus, making it important to find new ways to work and interact while also taking care of our mental health and well-being. Many are teleworking full-time for the first time, isolated from co-workers, friends and family. Others are on the front lines caring for others. No matter what, our daily living routines are disrupted causing added anxiety, stress and strain—physically, mentally, and financially. Now more than ever, we all must take care of our mental health and well-being. The purpose of this session is to provide wellness considerations for work settings as we all navigate the uncharted territory and response to novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and beyond. In this session, the learner will be offered strategies and considerations for addressing their own health and wellness including stress management, sleep behaviors, and social connectedness. Additionally, symptoms related to trauma are reviewed and realistic strategies offered to implement with staff and residents to facilitate health and healing when disaster strikes. The session also includes specific techniques supervisors can utilize to connect with employees, address trauma and secondary trauma, and provide leadership through a trauma-informed lens.


Kathleen Weissberg

Bio: Dr. Kathleen Weissberg, (MS in OT, 1993; Doctoral 2014) in her 25+ years of practice, has worked in rehabilitation and long-term care as an executive, researcher and educator. She has established numerous programs in nursing facilities; authored peer-reviewed publications on topics such as low vision, dementia quality care, and wellness; has spoken at numerous conferences both nationally and internationally, for 20+ State Health Care Associations, and for 25+ state LeadingAge affiliates. She provides continuing education support to over 17,000 therapists, nurses, and administrators nationwide as National Director of Education for Select Rehabilitation. She is a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner and a Certified Montessori Dementia Care Practitioner. She serves as the Region 1 Director for the American Occupational Therapy Association Political Affairs Affiliates and is an adjunct professor at Chatham University and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and Gannon University in Erie, PA.