Aims Our project aimed to address staff wellbeing and explore, as a hospice team, some emotional challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Difficult decision making has caused moral distress amongst staff; it is essential to address this in order to prevent overwhelming trauma, promote mental resilience and foster hope.
Methods Providing a safe environment was necessary for staff to share their feelings. Under the theme of ‘Let it Go!’, for one week staff were asked to write down their feelings anonymously and take a treat thanking them. An overwhelming response demonstrated the pressure placed on people’s feelings of safety and emotional wellbeing. Hospice staff next received a personal thank-you card and a sweet treat, lifting spirits and promoting feelings of value. With staff engagement we then posed a question: ‘What has COVID-19 taught you?’ Another huge response showed that despite contending with morally traumatic situations, staff demonstrated support for their own psychological resilience in extremely challenging times. Feedback from this work was anonymised and displayed in the hospice, and staff were invited to view their work. The final step in this project was asking the team to share their hopes and wishes for the year ahead, displaying these to encourage our team to begin looking forward and feeling hope in a difficult time.
Results The results have been positive. A new feeling of openness and the ability to understand and reflect upon challenges of COVID-19 has contributed to a positive feeling in the hospice. The understanding that we all share common emotional responses is a powerful realisation, staff have shown remarkable bravery in sharing their moral injury.
Conclusion This project has made an impact on many members of the hospice team. Feeling safe to share feelings is essential to support resilience. It is vital that moving forward through the pandemic we continue wellbeing support and nurture self-care skills.
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