The majority of states have eased Coronavirus restrictions and people are wrestling with mixed emotions. On one level there is hope that the country may be rebounding from Coronavirus, and that the economy is restarting. On another level, there is fear that the virus has not been contained and infections may increase as social distancing decreases. There is also uncertainty about how to best protect ourselves and our families, friends, staff, patients, and clients.
Coronavirus has indefinitely changed the landscape in which we operate. Even the experts are divided on how this will play out. For now, the best we can do is to resolve to move forward cautiously and safely, carefully planning for the next few weeks, months, and beyond.
One consequence of the pandemic is that managers are now grappling with Coronavirus issues such as allaying the fears of staff and clients, maintaining safe practices, and figuring out how to offer the services that are essential for patient health and the practice’s wellbeing and managers are becoming increasingly stressed. Although there is no quick fix for dealing with these unprecedented issues, I encourage anyone who is feeling pressured to take time to breathe and think, make safety a priority, understand and follow regulations that must be adopted in the practice, recognize when others are struggling with the situation, and request and accept help if you believe that your ability to cope is compromised.
I also encourage you to rely on VHMA resources during this time. If you have not visited the Coronavirus Resource Page for advice and answers to questions concerning how to reassure staff, bring back clients, address finances, improve production, and much more, the resource offers answers and reassurances. The Coronavirus Resource Page contains member discussions that have been tagged and organized. Samples of policies and resources are available in one easy to access location. Coronavirus pop-up webinars can be found in the OnDemand catalog. Check out links to other industry resources and partner tools. These resources are updated daily. Visit https://www.vhma.org/resources/coronavirus
The VHMA will continue to look for ways to help veterinary managers better navigate these uncharted waters. Although the path of Coronavirus and its impact is uncertain, you can be certain that VHMA is committed to developing and providing resources to equip and prepare managers for a changing future.
As questions and/or concerns arise, please continue to turn to MemberConnect for information. Your colleagues have experience and insights to share. When you post your questions and answers, you help us all to learn and grow.
The current situation is taxing us emotionally, professionally, financially, and socially. Many of us, to some degree, may feel depressed, stressed, or fearful. Experiencing some degree of suffering and discomfort. If you are experiencing these emotions, or are aware of an employee, friend, colleague, or family member who is experiencing these feelings, please seek help or encourage others to seek help. There are a number of resources available, including The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255, and The National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI), which hosts Warmlines (emotional support hotlines) that can be found at: https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/BlogImageArchive/2020/NAMI-National-HelpLine-WarmLine-Directory-3-11-20.pdf
Please take care of yourself. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay strong.
Michelle Gonzales-Bryant, CVPM