Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.
*Last updated 3/27/20
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the United States, more companies are offering benefits to help front-line health care workers during these unprecedented times. Local grassroots initiatives are also cropping up in many communities, a testament to our willingness to help one another in real-time, even if it starts with sharing a simple spreadsheet. Below, Doximity has rounded up some of the many resources available to you.
According to a recent JAMA study, health care workers in China reported high rates of symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress from the pandemic. Seeking mental health support could benefit you and your front-line team. Physician Support Line is a free and confidential hotline for front-line health care workers to access seven days a week, staffed by volunteer psychiatrists. You can call them at (888) 409-0141 from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. EST.
Similarly, the mindfulness and meditation app Headspace promises, “you’re here for them, we’re here for you.” Through 2020 they will be offering free access to Headspace Plus to all health care professionals working in public health settings. Brief mindfulness interventions have been found to improve perceptions of stress and anxiety amongst clinicians.
At a time when gyms and studios are closed, online classes and tutorials can be helpful to keep up with physical fitness. Yoga app Down Dog is offering all of their apps for free for health care professionals through July 1st, 2020. Down Dog hopes these practices “may provide you with a moment’s peace, and help you recharge when you are away from your patients.”
You may not have time to remove your PPE, let alone eat nutritionally during your shifts — and sweetgreen is here to help. They are delivering free, fresh salads and bowls to hospitals in the cities they serve: the Washington D.C. area, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston. In a similar expression of gratitude, Starbucks is offering a free tall brewed coffee (iced or hot) to any customer identifying as a front-line responder through May 3rd, 2020.
While you are on your feet all day and night, shoe companies want to help you feel more comfortable in crisis. Crocs is giving away 10,000 free pairs of shoes every day to health care workers. Get in line online for your “free pair for health care,” Monday through Friday at 12 p.m. EST, while supplies last. Allbirds is similarly offering free shoes to the health care community; if interested email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you need a separate place to stay and rest close to work or to socially distance and protect your loved ones at home, there are options for you. Airbnb is providing free/subsidized housing for 100,000 first responders. The American Hotel and Lodging Association is partnering with HHS to match hotel properties nationwide close to medical facilities to support first responders. The five-star Four Seasons New York is similarly offering free stays to medical personnel in New York City.
With children out of school nationwide, many local organizations are meeting the moment by staying open to provide childcare for those at the front lines. Several YMCAs in the Tampa Bay area are offering all-day relief childcare. A similar initiative with the Boys & Girls Clubs in Orange County, California is underway with local hospitals even covering their employees’ fees. Schools in Tacoma, Washington are being used as childcare sites, adopting public health practices to encourage social distancing.
What other resources are you utilizing to help you cope? We hope that learning about these efforts is uplifting as the world continues to show its appreciation for health care workers. As an additional offering of support, Doximity is facilitating an online narrative medicine workshop in late April. For details and to sign up, please email email@example.com. And read here for more information on how Doximity is helping; explore our COVID-19 newsroom, urgent job postings, and expanded access to Doximity Dialer for all health care professionals.
Illustration by Jennifer Bogartz