Coronavirus: Embrace Post-traumatic Growth as Response to Pandemic

October 30, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce, Engagement & Morale, Health and Wellness

Last modified November 2, 2020

A recent journal article from JAMA Network states post-traumatic growth can be a positive response to the pandemic within healthcare organizations, both at the individual and organizational levels. It is without question that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the healthcare sector. At the individual level, healthcare workers have faced a range of adversity from shortages of PPE, to the strain of long work days and losing patient lives to the virus. At the organizational level, health systems, hospitals, and physician practices have endured turmoil, including the suspension of elective surgeries and financial distress.

Post-traumatic growth features positive psychological change achieved after severe adversity and the establishment of a “new normal.” According to the article, post-traumatic growth has five spheres:

  1. Development of stronger relationships
  2. Willingness to embrace new possibilities
  3. Improved perception of personal strength
  4. Heightened sense of spirituality
  5. Increased appreciation of life

Healthcare workers and organizations can take five steps to promote post-traumatic growth as a response to the coronavirus pandemic:

  1. Assessment and learning
  2. Role models
  3. Creativity
  4. Altruism
  5. Loss and grief
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