As Clinicians are Redeployed for COVID-19, Onboarding takes on Extra Importance

August 17, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce, Onboarding

Last modified August 18, 2020

Since the pandemic emerged in December, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other clinicians around the world, including thousands in the U.S., have been redeployed to new roles or new locations to care for the thousands of patients admitted to hospitals with COVID-19. As stated in this article by Stat News, most of the clinicians had never before cared for a patient with this new disease. This is now happening in Texas, California, the Midwest, and other regions where cases are surging, just as it happened in New York City, Boston, Detroit, and other cities hit hard by the epidemic in the spring.

Additionally, onboarding clinicians during a pandemic poses challenges that go far beyond logistics. In this article, seven physician leaders were interviewed across five health systems in New York City, Boston, and Springfield, Mass., who had developed and/or implemented programs to rapidly bring in clinicians in an effort to begin understanding onboarding during the time of coronavirus. Each leader described having no roadmap for this work, and essentially “making it up as we went along.” Their observations fell into three main categories: responding effectively to fear and anxiety, clarifying procedures for delivering care, and intentional relationship building.

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