Taking Care of Employee Mental Health at Your Dental Practice During COVID-19
Dental professionals are likely already aware of just how important it is to care for everyone in their practice, both patients and staff alike.
This means that in the wake of COVID-19 as the pandemic continues to ebb and flow, it’s important to take care of your employees’ mental wellness, now often entangled with the physical and practical safety of everyone who steps into your practice.
Taking care of your employees’ mental and physical health can often go hand in hand. As we know, employee retention has become an issue since Covid-19 struck our world, so investment in our employees is more vital now and in the coming years than ever before.
Additionally, many of our patients have increased anxiety, thus, a comfortable and positive atmosphere in the office pays off on many levels.
Here are just a few ways you can look after those who enter your dental practice.
1. Take Proper Safety Precautions
Since many people have anxiety surrounding the pandemic and its precautions, make sure your practice abides by the required safeguards like mask mandates, social distancing, and requiring proof of vaccination… Opens in a new window to healthline.com website… can improve mental wellness by bringing a sense of calm and confidence that employee health is taken seriously.
Much of the public anxiety occurring during the pandemic has its roots in people not following the rules and putting others at risk, so make sure you’re following the rules.
2. Ask Your Staff What They Need
Any good workplace thrives on communication, and your dental practice is no exception. If you find that your staff happens to be distressed or going through a rough mental health patch, one of the best things you can do is ask them how you can best support them through these times.
It is natural for people to worry. “Worry and anxiety are actually a normal bodily response to stressors,” says Dr. Abigail Schlesinger… Opens in a new window to share.upmc.com website… , chief of behavioral science at UPMC in Pittsburgh.
No matter how the worry or stress manifests, there might be little things you can do to help your workflow better which means a better experience for staff and patients.
Opening up that dialogue creates an added layer of comfort.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Although this one is a little bit more of a personal choice, you can definitely make it a point within your practice to talk about mindfulness as a solution to some of the anxiety afoot.
Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and paying attention to the task or person before you while using simple practices such as taking a deep breath and reminding ourselves to look for the positive in the present.
This is an important piece of caring for one’s mental health and can also be a great technique to help center your staff in reducing the sense of layered stress.
The Mindfulness method can help calm anxiety… Opens in a new window to health.harvard.edu website… .
4. See What Other Dental Practices Are doing
It can be very productive to look into other practices in your area to see how they are handling the physical and mental impact of the pandemic.
Leaning on one another for techniques and methods that can help you bring better care to your patients is a great way to build community in addition to supporting those who work with you. In this way, you can develop a “we’re all in this together” mentality that can boost morale and improve your employee’s perspectives.
5. Offer Comprehensive Mental Health Resources
Although most medical employers offer supportive, comprehensive health care to all their employees, one of the best ways to care for your workers is to make sure that they consistently have access to mental health care.
This is vital not just during the pandemic but on a regular basis. To do this, it’s important to offer well-rounded healthcare packages to those who work for you because when people can care for themselves, they can better care for others.
When your employees are stressed, talking to a qualified therapist can ease their minds and help them improve their outlook on life. This will lead to better performance on the job, which also benefits your patients.
6. Care for Your Staff’s Mental Health
The pandemic has been a rough time for everybody, especially those who work in the medical field. Ensure your dental practice’s staff can care for and support others to the best of their ability by providing for their mental health and wellness in the workplace.
This investment will more than pay for itself through staff and patient loyalty.
Meet the Author
Mia Barnes is a professional researcher and career writer in the health space.
She has 2+ years of experience researching and writing about dental wellness, and she is the Editor in Chief at Body+Mind Magazine.… Opens in a new window to bodymind.com website…