Frontline Nurses Talk with Psychologists in New Podcast on Coping with COVID-19 Related Trauma
“Unprecedented: Nursing in a Pandemic” aims to make psychological care topics, along with tips and strategies for self-care, accessible to the working nurse.
“Unprecedented: Nursing in a Pandemic” aims to make psychological care topics, along with tips and strategies for self-care, accessible to the working nurse. The podcast is a collaboration by Labouré College, a leader in nursing and healthcare education, and William James College, a leader in mental and behavioral healthcare education, both located in Greater Boston.
Caring for COVID-19 patients has created considerable stress and trauma for nurses and healthcare workers. A new podcast, “Unprecedented: Nursing in a Pandemic,” brings together frontline nurses with psychology experts to offer coping strategies nurses can easily implement.
“Frontline nurses are shouldering a great burden and many are burning out. The purpose of this podcast is to provide them with self-care tips and strategies that they can absorb quickly and put to use on their next shift” said Lily S. Hsu, Ed.D., president of Labouré College. “We hope that listeners will also find healing through the stories of nurses facing similar challenges.”
Nurses are at risk for mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. The podcast provides a resource in a format that invites overwhelmed healthcare professionals to receive the content, and the advice it offers, on their own time, at their own pace.
“At the outset of this pandemic, William James College reached out to Labouré to offer supportive, virtual groups for faculty and student nurses,” said Nicholas Covino, PsyD, president of William James College. “While receptive, the reality of asking nurses to find time amidst competing personal and professional demands was a significant factor. The podcast puts critical self-care information in the pockets, car speakers, and earbuds of professionals on the frontline, and also makes it broadly available to family members or others who care for nurses. We hope they find this helpful.”
The collaboration between the two schools brings leading experts in both fields together for these important conversations. Each year, Labouré College graduates the largest group of diverse nurses in Massachusetts. William James College is a professional school for mental health professionals, and trains culturally-responsive providers for careers, among other professions, as clinical psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, and organizational leaders. Both colleges offer in-person and online educational training options.
Episodes One & Two: “Prolonged Disaster Nursing: Ways of Coping with Trauma”
“I became a nurse because I wanted to be bedside, I wanted to care, I wanted to touch and actually be next to a patient,” said Shaina Curran, BSN RN, a traveling nurse who has worked three COVID-19 contracts since March 2020. “Not being able to give that basic care that I think someone needs… it's discouraging, it’s very upsetting to not be able to do that.”
The first two episodes pair Curran, who worked as a hospice certified nursing assistant prior to becoming a RN, with Dr. Jenny D’Olympia, a licensed mental health counselor, US Air Force veteran, and interim director of the Military and Veterans Psychology program at William James.
Episodes Three, Four, Five: “Nursing Amid Constant Loss and Grief”
“The question, ‘How are you?’ has become a very loaded question,” said Gabe Mahoney, FNP, a leader in palliative and hospice care and nurse educator at Labouré College. “People were crying at times in the hallway, other people kind of shut down. The bubbly nurses I worked with in the past were somewhat somber and overwhelmed.”
Episodes three through five pair Mahoney with Dr. Jodie Kliman, a professor in Clinical Psychology at William James College and private practitioner with a focus on trauma work. The episodes explore how the experience of loss is very different for nurses during COVID-19 and offers insights and strategies nurses can employ to cope.
Additional Episodes and Contributed Content
Additional episodes are in production and will be added regularly. Nurses across the country are invited to participate in the project, either by sharing their stories on social media or via a suggestion form (anonymously or for discussion on the show) or by volunteering to participate as a show guest. A contact form is available at: laboure.edu/podcast.
Unprecedented: Nursing in a Pandemic is available on iTunes, Spotify, and iHeartMedia. Full episodes are also available at laboure.edu/podcast.
This podcast aims to provide understanding, support, and general advice and tools that nurses can use for self-care and care of others during the COVID19 pandemic. It does not take the place of individualized care from a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor. Please seek support if you are struggling to cope with ongoing stress or negative thoughts.
Photos and interviews available.
About William James College
Founded in 1974, William James College is an independent, non-profit institution and a leader in educating the next generation of mental health professionals to support the growing and diverse needs of the mental health workforce. Integrating field work with academics, the College prepares students for careers as organizational leaders and behavioral health professionals who are committed to helping the underserved, multicultural populations, children and families, and veterans. William James College alumni can be found making an impact in a variety of settings, including schools, the courts, clinical care facilities, hospitals, the community and the workplace.
About Labouré College
Established in 1892 by the Daughters of Charity, Labouré College is the longest provider of nurses in the Boston area. Labouré is an independent, private, non-profit college, specializing in nursing and healthcare career education both on-campus and online. The College provides flexible education and career advancement opportunities to a local, diverse adult population. The College is located at 303 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts.
Katelyn Dwyer, Executive Director, Communications and Development, Labouré College firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-322-3535.
Anne Wilson, Director of Communications, William James College