Health Worker Support is an incredible resource for our frontline workers that are feeling the emotional stress during this pandemic. Dr. Carol Francis started this website as a free resource to support these men and women and give back to our community!
South Bay Gives Back: Health Worker Support
Tell us a little about you:
Developing my therapy, counseling and coaching practice in Torrance was an easy decision since I’d lived in Manhattan Beach for two years in High School enjoying the fresh air and activities of LA South Bay Beach Cities. After completing my Doctorate, I returned to this relatively ideal location to build Dr. Carol Francis and Associates. During these 44 years, we have focused upon helping growth-minded adults, couples, children, and families. Since that time, my family has grown-up relishing in the peacefulness, diversity, and opportunities these communities offer in plenty. Managing full-time parenting and a full-time therapy practice is doable in this area because proximity of home and work is close, educational resources are plenty, and support for working moms functions well.
Please tell us about Health Worker Support
Health Worker Support focuses upon nurses, doctors, hospital staffers and professional hospitalists who provide treatment for traumatic illnesses and traumatic injuries by offering them a ton of online resources.
We also want Health Workers to BE SEEN and BE THANKED so I paint portraits of the healthcare workers. Both hospitals and survivors of traumatic illnesses or their families contact me to paint their health workers as a way of saying thanks too. It’s an honor to spend 10 hours painting heroes such as nurses, EMTs, doctors, hospital phlebotomists, janitorial servers, and all the other hospitalists who help patients and their families with traumatic illnesses or injuries.
Who are you supporting with this project?
This program supports healthcare workers such as nurses, doctors, hospitalists, medical professionals, and their support staff. Any individuals involved in assisting patients who suffer from traumatic illnesses and traumatic injuries need support too in order to avoid Professional Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, Professional Powerlessness, Suicidal Despair, Trauma induced Anxiety, Sleep Disruptions, Secondary Traumatic Stress.
Tell us about your portrait paintings?
My portrait paintings were an unexpected gift as well, stimulated by artist Steve Derrick and by Sky Artists in the UK. I drew a friend of mine first, a nurse of extreme compassion and humor. Her nursing friends wanted their portraits too. I contacted Steve Derrick, whose portraits of medical professionals helping Covid19 patients is now internationally known. I asked him how to proceed with my amateur artistic skills. Now, with my painter’s joy, during my “off” time, I commune with the photos of these amazing heroes. I hope they will feel seen and deeply appreciated for all they give our country, our communities, our neighbors, our parents, our children and ourselves.
What inspired you to do Health Worker Support?
After 44 years providing trauma and abuse recovery therapy for adults and children, I knew the value of the hundreds of tools available to help individuals conquer personal horrors and then become thriving individuals.
Humans can be resilient. When I discovered that 80% of all humane organizations are founded by trauma or abuse survivors, I further noted that once we recover from horrifying experiences, we often aim to make our world a much better place. Progress is made when traumatically exposed people rise above complications and help others. Trauma Recovery work was therefore a calling and passion I embraced following the return of PTSD suffering soldiers from Vietnam.
When the pandemic began harming family friends in China and then in Europe, and when I noticed medical facilities were overwhelmed with terrifying deaths, I knew our local medical professionals would suffer considerable exposures too.
First responders always face deep reactions to being powerless in the face of tragic moments. 911 taught me this when friends who supported firefighters in New York’s Ground Zero called me in California. Doctors and nurses race to help as frontline responders to other countries suffering natural disasters like the Haiti Earthquakes or during local traumas such as the Vegas shooting.
I knew our medical heroes would be hurled into our homeland needs as soon as Covid19 reached the US. These doctors and nurses and all exposed medical responders would need support too. They would face considerable mental and physical strain. Then January 2020 slammed the US with Covid19 cases with no understanding, no treatment, and no research in place. Basic safety-masks, gloves, and body bags were lacking too. Risky and dreadful days.
Doctors and nurses are often viewed as invincible and not vulnerable. We lean on them when we are very weak, so we believe they are sturdy and steady. But these medical professionals are as vulnerable as any person would be, suffering invisibly or privately far too often. Since suicides and suicidal despair plague medical professionals more than any professional groups, we know the strain of their work is deep and severe.
So, in April 2020, my online courses and my book “Recovery After Trauma Work for Healthcare Workers” became available for free, providing hundreds of tools that trauma survivors now can use to –
- Build resilience and authentic stamina
- Escape severe strain on a daily basis and reduce stress, anxiety and depressive reactions
- Understand and respect emotional reactions that too often wrongly confuse or shame people
- Assist hospital units to build team support
- Help their family members understand their parents’ or spouses’ trauma-work reactions
Traumatic illnesses and traumatic injuries are part of daily pressures in Emergency Rooms, Intensive Care Units, Cancer Units, End of Life Care, and now Covid19 units. Medical professionals absorb empathically and factually each patient’s traumatic moments, caring enough to clean-up body fluids and face emotionally distraught families hour after hour.
Each of these professionals need and deserve to be buttressed daily by our thankfulness, our practical gifts of food and cards, and by the tools that help them cope personally as well. And now portrait paintings ease some stress too, we now know.
How can the community support your efforts?
You can help us by getting the word out. If you know someone that works in healthcare, police, fire (what else) please refer them to our website so they can learn more about these free resources. No catch! They will not be sold anything, we are just trying to help.
No matter what you do to support Health Worker Support, Paint portraits, send food, write cards, you will be appreciated. Let’s rally behind those who help us invisibly and sacrificially far too often.