The challenges of working in the U.S. health care system have been an existential threat to clinician well-being for years. The pandemic has only exacerbated the pressures confronting clinicians, accelerating the rates of depression, anxiety, burnout, moral distress, moral injury, trauma, grief, etc.

The Emotional PPE toolkit provides resources that clinicians and teams can use to support well-being. CAPC firmly believes that it is the responsibility of organization, state, and federal leaders to create a more supportive and sustainable environment for health care clinicians. We have included individual resources to normalize your experiences and help bridge the gap if you are struggling. However, we urge leaders to consider participating in advocacy and initiatives that can help change the U.S. health care landscape.

Get immediate help if you are in crisis.

CAPC offers confidential, open-to-all Debriefing sessions in which participants can share the challenges of their work and discuss coping strategies. Register.

What’s in the Toolkit

Activities, videos, and practices for individual clinicians that can be completed in 5-10 minutes.

The Stress Continuum

Framework from the Colorado COVID Healthcare Worker Resources to identify where your personal reactions are during times of increased stress. Useful to self-locate and take action as needed.

Tips for Health Care Workers to Address Moral Injury

These tip sheets shared by Wendy Dean, MD provide practical ideas for individuals dealing with the impact of the pandemic and beyond.

Check In with Your Buddy

Example discussion items and best practices for checking in with your buddy.

Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality Well-Being Tools

Evidence-based, interactive tools designed for health care workers to build resilience and recover from burnout. Includes "3 Good Things."

Colorado COVID Healthcare Worker Resources: Resiliency Resources

Short videos on breath, sensation, mindfulness, self-compassion, and gratitude.

Colorado COVID Healthcare Worker Resources: Coping Resources

Curated resources, videos, and practices to support coping with stress, burnout, and trauma.

Dealing with GRIEF: A Series of Five Short, Powerful Videos

2-5 minute videos on acknowledging and coping with grief, and downloadable guides for health professionals. Created by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network, the Association of Professional Chaplains, and the Oncology Nursing Society.

Activities, videos, and practices for individual clinicians that can be completed in 10-30 minutes.

Breaking Point: Voices from the Front Lines of the Pandemic

CAPC's Breaking Point Podcast highlights health care workers from across the country sharing powerful and eye-opening stories from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Framework for Coping with Moral Challenges In the COVID-19 Era

A 'three-questions' framework that can be used to provide clarity when one is facing a moral challenge.

A Practical Road Map to Increasing Personal, Professional, and Team Resilience in Challenging Times of COVID

Step-by-step self-care guidance, including how to integrate self-care practices into your daily routine and team conversations.

Applying E-PAUSE to Ethical Challenges in a Pandemic

Article from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses' journal on how to apply the E-PAUSE tool that assists in exploring ethical challenges, taking action, and reflection on lessons learned.

Activities, videos, and practices for individual clinicians that can be completed in 30-60 minutes.

Breaking Point: Debriefing to Address the Challenges of Our Work

Join CAPC for these unique, informal, facilitated discussions where you can share common reactions to your demanding work and coping strategies that can diminish the consequences of this stress. Confidential and open to all.

Addressing Moral Injury and Clinician Distress

Learn how reframing our understanding of clinician distress can lead to better solutions.

CAPC's Emotional PPE Webinars On-Demand

Catch up on best practices in addressing moral distress, uncertainty, and burnout from past CAPC webinars.

Team leaders play a significant role in creating an emotionally safe environment for their team. These resources include discrete programs and structural changes to improve clinician well-being over time.

Well-Being Debriefings for Health Care Workers: Facilitator Training Manual

This manual provides the training individuals need to successfully offer well-being debriefings in their organizations.

Tips for Health Care Leaders to Address Moral Injury

These tip sheets shared by Wendy Dean, MD provide practical ideas for leaders dealing with the impact of the pandemic and looking to reduce the challenges health care workers are facing.

National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-Being

Resources from the NAM Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, organized into six essential elements: 1) Advance Organizational Commitment 2) Strengthen Leadership Behaviors 3) Conduct Workplace Assessment 4) Examine Policies and Practices 5) Enhance Workplace Efficiency 6) Cultivate a Culture of Connection and Support

Well-Being Buddy System: A Template for Health Care Organizations

Strategy, process, sample staff communications, and 'conversation checklists' for implementing a buddy system to support clinician well-being during COVID-19. Shared by the Mount Sinai Health System.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement "Joy in Work" Resources

Actions that health care leaders can take to support the clinician workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Clinician Well-Being and Resilience: Pre-COVID, Through the Pandemic, and Beyond

Sample presentation for clinicians and managers on well-being. Shared by the Mount Sinai Health System, where it was delivered as a CME activity to staff.

Colorado COVID Healthcare Worker Resources: Workplace Strategies

Ways for health care facilities to support health care workers and increase resiliency.

Preventing Health Care Workforce Suicide

Based on available literature and consensus among leading suicide prevention experts, this article from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement highlights three actions health care leaders can take to support workforce mental health and well-being.

Open Your Heart Conversation Starter

Quick tips from the National Physician Suicide Awareness website on how to check in with physicians and anyone else who may be struggling.

Building and Supporting Effective Palliative Care Teams

Hire and onboard your staff, manage program operations, and ensure a healthy high-functioning team using this toolkit.

Creating a more sustainable workforce is a structural issue and requires systems-level advocacy. These resources support leadership development and connections with others working to support larger Emotional PPE efforts.

National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience

This NAM Action Collaborative focuses on systems-level action to improve clinician well-being and resilience. This website contains resources to improve organizational capacity to support health care workers. There is also an opportunity to join this collaborative to participate in national advocacy.

Addressing Health Worker Burnout: The U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory on Building a Thriving Health Workforce

Advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General on action steps that all stakeholders (including payers and policymakers) must take to address the crisis of burnout, exhaustion, and moral distress across the health community.

Health Affairs Briefing: “Physician Burnout, Workforce Strain, And Lessons From COVID-19”

Health Affairs online briefing examining physician burnout and broader issues confronting medical professionals.

Leadership Skills in Palliative Care

Toolkit to support strategic planning, team leadership, and professional development for the palliative care leader.

CAPC Webinars: Leadership Series

On-demand CAPC webinars that focus on different aspects of leadership, including supporting teams.

Selected articles and research emphasizing the need to attend to clinician well-being and resilience.

Doing Double Duty: Health Care Workers Who Also Care for Loved Ones

Recognizing the needs of health care workers who serve as unpaid caregivers after clocking out for the day—and the added stress of the pandemic.

Themes from the Moral Distress Education Project

Short videos from the University of Kentucky's Moral Distress Education Project that describe commonly found themes in moral distress.

“We Are in a War”: Mitigating Burnout in COVID-19

Insights from health care and military experts on how the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating burnout in health care professionals, and strategies to make it through this uncertain time.

There Are Words To Describe What’s Happening To Our Health Workforce - And Burnout Is Not It

Forbes piece on why language matters when we describe what clinicians are facing during the pandemic. November 2020.

Health Care Workers in Crisis: Efforts Toward Normalizing A Sustainable Workplace Culture

Health Affairs blog by Rebekah Gee, CAPC's Diane Meier, and co-authors on the stigma attached to seeking help in US health care, and the need for systems and culture change in support of clinician well-being. July 10, 2020.

On-demand CAPC webinars and Master Clinicians that address key considerations in supporting Emotional PPE.

"Why Am I Still Feeling This Way?": Addressing the Pandemic’s Continuing Moral Distress

In this on-demand webinar, panelists discuss stressors that have affected personal and team morale throughout the pandemic. They also discuss a framework for working through emotionally distressing issues, and more.

“How Am I Supposed to Feel About This?” Addressing Moral Distress Caused by COVID-19

May 26, 2020 Master Clinician discussion with Ira Bedzow, PhD, Director of the Biomedical Ethics and Humanities Program at New York Medical College, and Senior Scholar at the Aspen Center for Social Values.

Staying Resilient as the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

May 28, 2020 webinar with J. Bryan Sexton, PhD, Director of the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality.

The Impact of COVID-Related Grief on Palliative Care Clinicians

In this Master Clinician session, Raymond F. Hanbury, PhD, ABPP, a trauma psychology specialist, will present a framework for understanding loss and grief, and offer guidance for a healthy response to these feelings.

Managing Expectations in Uncertainty

This on-demand Master Clinician session will present and illustrate a systematic, case-based approach to managing expectations during times of uncertainty.

Practical Approaches to Providing Emotional PPE: Ideas from a Chief Wellness Officer

In this on-demand webinar, Amy Frieman, MD, MBA, FAAHPM, Chief Wellness Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health Network, discusses practical ways in which health care organizations can provide emotional PPE.

Part 1: Learn How to Facilitate Well-Being Debriefings within Your Organization

In this on-demand webinar, attendees learn how well-being debriefings help health care workers; how to obtain approval from leadership; techniques for facilitating debriefings, and more. Note that this is part one of a two-part webinar.

Part 2: Learn How to Facilitate Well-Being Debriefings within Your Organization

In this on-demand webinar, Vickie Leff, LCSW trains attendees to be peer facilitators for well-being debriefings, providing the skills needed to bring this technique to their organizations.

Leadership Series: Addressing the Realities of a Distressed Staff

In this on-demand webinar, panelists share how to lead a team that is emotionally stressed or distressed during trying times, such as a pandemic. They also answer questions about sustaining motivation and team health, and more.

Cultivating Resiliency as a Palliative Care Program Leader

On-demand webinar that covers resilience from several perspectives: 1) taking steps towards work-life balance 2) recognizing burnout and fostering resilience in oneself as a program leader 3) role of the care program leader in addressing team burnout.

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