How I Practice Now: Reducing Stress and Risks Among Staff
In this video, Gastroenterology Consultant Advisory Board Member David Hudesman, MD, talks about how his staff is coping with COVID-19 challenges, as well as how he helps his staff reduce stress and risk of infection.
David Hudesman, MD, is codirector of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at NYU Langone Health and is an associate professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine in New York City.
David Hudesman: Hello, my name is Dr. David Hudesman. I’m the codirector of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at NYU Langone Health in New York City. I’m going to speak a little bit about my and our center’s experience dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic at our IBD center and at our institution.
Unfortunately, New York City is that the epicenter for this. This is something that we've been dealing with for well over a month now, and I'm sure it's everyone else's is something that's very fluid, which is constantly changing day to day, hour to hour.
Speaking about how we're dealing as a team—as physicians, nurses, PAs, nutritionists, psychologists, surgeons, and so forth, and how we're dealing with this, and this has also been extremely important, is there's a lot of stress among our staff.
A lot of our staff, including myself, are getting called into the hospital to be on the COVID wards, whether it's on the regular floor of the ICUs. First we're keeping all staff at home that don't need direct-patient contact. So, our nurses, our Pas, our research coordinators, nutrition psychologists, are all at home almost 100% of the time.
Secondly, we're all covering each other, and we have a schedule where, whenever somebody goes to the hospital or need to on the COVID wards, the other docs or PAs will be covering the office for virtual visits, for any urgent cases, for infusions, and so forth.
I'm constantly checking in with my staff, and our psychologist and I are constantly doing—I would say on a weekly basis—some type of faculty-wellness session. And this is not only for our IBD faculty; this is for our entire GI faculty, whoever's interested. So, faculty-wellness sessions, as well as faculty-relaxation sessions, which could be fun.
In our IBD center, we are trying to meet on a Zoom call at least once a week, just to stay in touch, just to say “hi.” Sometimes we're going through details and what's happening, what needs to be done. Other times, it's talking about .. we had our nutritionist giving us tips on what to make in the house to something nutritious and fun for the kids to do, for example.
And it's been fun and been able to not only see our colleagues, but see our colleagues at home with their families, whether they're with their parents, whether they have their kids running around in the background.
And I guess the last thing I just want to mention, it's been very impressive, very rewarding, and how much support we've been getting. This is not only from our patients, from the local restaurants delivering food, but also from our faculty or fellow colleagues across the country. The amount of emails or calls I've gotten to check in to offer to help with the patients and signing off almost every message, “Thank you. I appreciate everything that you're doing.”
I think that's really been rewarding and sort of working together as a team, although this is very hectic and pretty tough right now, we are getting through. I think we're doing a good job managing our patients. And I think we'll continue to do that until this crisis is over.
Thank you very much