Following the second surge of COVID-19 in 2021, the Department of Nursing launched a resiliency podcast to help nurses and colleagues prioritize their mental and physical well-being.
“We thought a podcast would be powerful because nurses can access it anytime, regardless of their work schedules,” said Danika Medina, MBA, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, associate chief nurse for Ambulatory Services, Procedural Areas and (interim) Center for Nursing Excellence. “The topics we covered are relevant to nurses everywhere — at the Brigham, across the Mass General Brigham system and beyond. Throughout the pandemic, nurses everywhere have experienced stress, grief, fear and uncertainty like never before.”
“Resiliency Roadmap: A Podcast for Nurses” is an eight-episode series, hosted by Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Clinical Services. The series features conversations with clinical nurses and interprofessional colleagues who share their expertise and experiences.
Topics include trauma-informed self-care, sleep health, moral distress and cultivating joy and a sense of belonging, among others.
Christine Murphy, MS, PMHCNS-BC, CARN-AP, program director of the Brigham’s Psychiatric Nursing Resource Service, was involved in the Department of Nursing’s resiliency efforts along with her colleagues. She participated in a podcast episode about how the “health care superhero” label can negatively affect nurses’ well-being.
“The hero construct places an expectation of heroism on nurses, with little acknowledgment of our limitations and experiences as humans,” she explained. “The pandemic has had a significant impact on nurses, and the hero label can be detrimental when nurses assume a hero role and are so focused on taking care of others that they aren’t taking care of their own needs.”
In that episode, Murphy was joined by Susan Gabriel, MSN, RN, CCRN, of the Cardiac Surgery ICU, who shared her perspective on caring for critically ill COVID-19 patients during the first surge. The two also provided listeners with tips for self-care practices, urging nurses to carve out time to care for themselves.
“More than ever, we as nurses need to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first so that we can continue to do what we love, which is taking care of people,” Murphy said.