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In the spring of 2020 our whole world changed. While every workplace across the country has been impacted in some way by the global pandemic, none felt the effects more profoundly than our nation’s healthcare workers and educators.
Take for example, Eric Eaton, a traveling nurse who had been working at a hospital in Connecticut since February when the outbreak began. According to Eric, “Every day was different. We had no processes in place, insufficient supplies, and just about every patient coming through the door was Covid-related. So many of us nurses on the floor started to feel like we needed to talk to someone but didn’t know where to turn.”
Eric’s experience is sadly not surprising or unusual given the extraordinary working conditions our healthcare workers and educators face today. These frontline heroes now operate under extreme stress, yet their mental and emotional wellbeing is a key part of how we navigate through the crisis.
That’s where coaching can be particularly effective. We know that coaching can help workers develop their psychological core–including stress management, coping and resilience skills–to preserve and strengthen wellbeing. The need for resilience has never been greater, yet many don’t know where to turn to develop the skills and mindsets for these extraordinary times
At BetterUp, our mission has always been to help people everywhere pursue their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion. We weren’t content carrying on as business-as-usual knowing so many needed others to step up. That is why we mobilized our mission and our community to take care of those sacrificing themselves to take care of us.
With the help of corporate donors, our coaches and community, we have provided free access to the BetterUp platform to thousands of healthcare workers and educators since April. And it has been a true community effort: over 800 BetterUp Coaches volunteered coaching time to support this effort. In addition to partnering directly with the nation’s top hospitals and education institutions to offer BetterUp, we enabled our members to directly refer education and healthcare workers to BetterUp for free coaching.
For frontline healthcare workers and educators, access to a coach can create a safe space to manage stress and uncertainty, build resilience and calm, and develop self-care behaviors and emotional agility to get through this intense time. Our mobile-first platform means these critical groups have access to a coach anytime, anywhere, along with curated learning resources, assessments and nudges.
For Eric, having a coach has been a life changing experience. His coach helped him see his strengths–such as his ability to perform well under pressure–and identify areas of growth. “I speak with my coach every week. She has helped me to develop stress management skills to cope with these times but also to grow, especially on communication–to not get overwhelmed and to try to learn balance. I’m now a much better self advocate.” When we flourish as individuals, we are more engaged, bringing our best selves to work. Eric’s experience is a great example of this powerful connection between personal growth and outcomes. “I have learned to be more attentive in the moment, to actively listen, and to be confident in the care I provide. It has taught me to focus not only my patients’ physical health, but to also focus on their mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Most importantly, I have learned that each shift I have is an opportunity to make a positive difference in my patients’ lives and not to take that for granted.” Eric is starting in a new position at a hospital in Tampa, Florida, and feels well prepared to take on the next new chapter.
Wellbeing, communications and influence have been key focus areas for many of the educators and healthcare professionals using BetterUp. More than 2800 coaching sessions have been scheduled to date and the impact has been dramatic: 93% said their sessions made them more effective at work and nearly 3 out of 4 reported making progress towards their goals.
Providing access to professional coaching to these critical groups has allowed us to show our immense gratitude beyond saying thank you. And through these turbulent times, the stories we have heard from doctors, nurses and teachers saying how much of an impact our service has had on their lives has moved us to tears. We are honored and humbled to help.
To all frontline healthcare professionals or educators, thank you for your heroic efforts, not only over the past few months but your whole career. Our world is calling you to be resilient but you don’t have to do it alone. Together we will get through this and emerge stronger.
Co-founder & CEO