With the delta variant pushing emergency medicine doctors into overdrive yet again, several organizations are providing free COVID-19 training, and the government has been issuing blanket license waivers to meet the clinician shortage in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and Emergency Departments (EDs). At DirectShifts, we are grateful to the healthcare community for all that they do and understand their challenges.
In this article, we have compiled a list of Covid-19 training and mental health resources to help emergency MD doctors get through the days ahead.
Free Covid-19 Training Resources
The Society of Critical Care medicine offer online videos that provide extensive Covid Critical Care training for non-ICU clinicians. The training includes airway assessment and management, diagnosis and management of respiratory failure, mechanical ventilation, and disaster preparedness and response.
The AACN provides free Covid training resources for real-world emergency scenarios. It includes oxygen delivery, caring for patients who require endotracheal intubation or invasive mechanical ventilation or for patients who are experiencing respiratory failure.
AC-PNP.com Free Resources
On AC-PNP.com, AC-PNPs who would like to refresh their subject knowledge can access a 9-month long free membership that offers a review course and prep tests.
You can find information about the current blanket waivers on the Covid-19 Emergency Declaration Health Care Providers Fact Sheet. Here are some pointers from the document:
- Provider Locations: Temporary waivers for out-of-state providers who are required to be licensed in the state where they are serving when they are already licensed elsewhere. This is applicable for Medicare and Medicaid too.
- Provider Enrolment: A toll-free hotline for physicians, non-physician practitioners and Part B suppliers to enroll and avail temporary Medicare privileges.
- Screening Requirements:
- Application Fee 42 C.F.R 424.514
- Criminal background checks FCBC 42 C.F.R 424.518
- Site visits 42 C.F.R 424.517
- Postpone all revalidation actions.
- Allow licensed providers to serve outside the state where they are enrolled.
- Fast-track pending and new applications from providers.
Medicare is accelerating the process of credentialing so that providers awaiting credentialing can bill patients. The completion time, which usually takes 90-120 days, is now being completed in 7-14 days. Here are some highlights:
- CMS is using its authority under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act to offer flexibilities with Medicare provider enrollment to better assist those affected the novel coronavirus.
- The COVID-19 Medicare Provider Enrolment Hotlines.
- How long will it take to turn around a physician or non-physician practitioner's application for temporary Medicare billing privileges?
- Will my emergency Medicare billing privileges be revoked once the pandemic is resolved?
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is offering all hospitals and institutions free access to the Physician Data Center (PDC). This helps ensure that the necessary information used to verify physician licenses and credentials are mobilized to provide care to Covid-19 patients in time.
The Physician Census is an interactive map which shows the number of physicians per state, serving as a visual reminder of how access to care varies by region and why some providers may need to be mobilized where help is needed during this crisis. The census will continue to grow as more physicians are credentialed in the field.
Several senior physicians have come out of retirement to volunteer on the frontlines, despite being at a higher risk of severe Covid to selflessly serve during the pandemic. This document breaks down the guidelines in each state to reactivate their licensure.
This document outlines waivers issued by the state for issuing and/or renewing professional licenses. For example, The Board of Registration in Medicine is issuing Emergency Temporary Licenses to Massachusetts physicians who hold unrestricted medical licenses in good standing in another state. These waivers are being issued to help hospitals meet increased enrolment requirements for COVID-19. Many states are also granting extensions on upcoming license renewals so that individuals are able to focus on their primary responsibility during this time: managing patients with COVID-19.
AAPA and state chapters are working together with legislatures and governors to waive the requirement for a supervising physician during the COVID-19 crisis. More information on efforts to remove barriers to freeing up providers for care can be found at the link above.
COVID-19 Mental Health Resources
Remember that it is not a selfish act to take care of yourself, rather it is essential. Talking to people in your support circles is critical to processing the tragedies experienced as a frontline warrior. Acknowledging the things within and outside your control is the first step to tackling anxiety.
Fatigue and burnout are legitimate challenges that are currently plaguing the physician community. By proactively taking steps to free yourself of negative thoughts will help you rest, heal and recover before your next shift.
Apps for Meditation and Wellbeing:
A highly recommended meditation app, Headspace covers specific meditation practices for a variety of reasons from sleeping to running. Due to the pandemic, healthcare workers get free access to Headspace Plus. According to data, 10 of Headspace can boost happiness by 16%.
Insight Timer is yet another app that offers meditations. It also features motivational talks and soothing playlists. The app is known to help people cope with anxiety and stress and get better quality of sleep.
Youper is a great tool to monitor your emotional health and apply real-time psychological techniques via Artificial Intelligence. The app interacts with users and provides them with relevant content. It maintains privacy of data,
At DirectShifts, we care about your well-being. You can read our articles on handling burnouts and self-care.
Online Therapists and Resources:
Here is a list of the best online therapy services, which includes BetterHelp, TruePill, Global Teletherapy and more.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has compiled a list of resources and has a hotline open between Monday and Friday that can help patients struggling with anxiety due to quarantine, those unsure about getting care without health insurance, those requiring financial assistance, those who are grieving the loss of a loved one due to coronavirus, and more.
We know that, as emergency medicine doctors, you are pushing your capacities to the brink every single day during this time. Caring for others, while still managing the needs of your families, keeping your economic concerns in check and still protecting your own safety “ it is indeed your actions that make you the national heroes that you are! DirectShifts recognizes the sweat and toil that go into caring for others. And that is why we go the extra mile to ensure that physicians land the right job every single time.
If you are currently looking for emergency MD jobs, we have several opportunities in Florida and other states. Click here to apply now.