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How Employers Can Support Frontline Healthcare Workers

May 05, 2020

Key Takeaways

  • During COVID-19, frontline healthcare workers are experiencing anxiety, fear, and difficulty sleeping.
  • Prudential’s Dr. Kristin Tugman conducted research to identify the mental health risks healthcare workers are facing.
  • Learn the types of skills and approaches employers should use to help them effectively cope.


“It was eerie,” said one registered nurse (RN) working in the first epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. “You could feel the tension on day one. We knew something was coming,” she remembered. “Everyone immediately put precautions in place.” The coronavirus outbreak of 2019-2020 caught nearly everyone off guard. But no one is feeling its effects quite like frontline healthcare workers.

Frontline healthcare workers are sacrificing their own health and safety and doing what they can to treat and save the lives of COVID-19 patients. While this dedication to their profession is part of who they are, it is also leading to intense anxiety, fear, and difficulty sleeping—the same symptoms described by their counterparts in China during and following their experience with dealing with the pandemic.1

Dr. Kristin Tugman, Prudential’s in-house health and productivity expert, conducted original research to identify the mental health risks healthcare workers face as they head to the front line every day.


“We’re experiencing trauma every day and I’m afraid my peers won’t ask for help”


The time to act is now. Management teams and mental health interventions for both the short and long term can have an impact.




  • Source: 1 Levin, J. (2019). The psychiatry of pandemics, Chapter 11: Mental health care for survivors and healthcare workers in the aftermath of an outbreak. Editor: Huremovic, D., North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY; Springer Nature, Switzerland.


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