As the situation around COVID-19 intensifies, I want to remind everyone to stay safe and stay positive.
As healthcare professionals, it’s a confusing and anxious time. This pandemic has affected us all in some way, some more so than others, and it appears as though this situation isn’t going away anytime soon. We are in a unique position in sleep medicine. The work we do is important and personal, and requires hands-on care.
Now more than ever it’s extremely important for us to be extra diligent in our care of not only our patients, but also ourselves. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a lot of information regarding healthcare workers’ response to COVID-19, including how to mitigate the transmission of infection, infection control techniques for healthcare workers, and a clinical care guide. In addition, please be cognizant of avoiding disease transmission at work (and in public). Be diligent about disinfecting your space and washing your hands, and if you do have to sneeze or cough, make sure to use a tissue and discard it.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself too. For the past few weeks, leaders have urged us to practice “social distancing.” Many states have closed down their bars and restaurants, and some cities have initiated curfews. For some of us, this possibly means unexpected time off work and isolated time at home.
It’s easy to get scared and discouraged. It’s even easier to go a little stir crazy. Now more than ever we need to stay calm, support one another and put this time to good use. Consider brushing up on your education and preparing for certification or recertification, and be sure to check out AAST’s online education repository. And while it might seem trivial, this is the perfect time to do things that set your mind at ease: Read a book, do some yoga, binge watch your favorite show and try not to stress.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to center yourself and reach out to your sleep community with love and positivity. We will weather this storm together.
Until then, rest well.
Melinda Trimble, LRCP, RPSGT, RST, FAAST