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Text Messages Boost Nurses' Well-Being
NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- When COVID-19 hit, no one was prepared for its impact. Seeing multiple patients grow sicker and die each shift has taken an unimaginable toll on healthcare professionals' psyches and mental health.
The Arizona Nurses Association decided last year to step in with a text messaging pilot program designed to offer resources and support to its state's embattled nurses struggling to cope with pandemic-added stress. After Arizona's successful pilot in late 2020, the American Nurses Foundation has now launched its text messaging program across an additional 16 additional states.
"Nurses are leaving the profession. They are experiencing psychological distress from watching their patients die day after day," says Dawna Cato, CEO at Arizona Nurses Association. "It's important for these nurses to know that we and other nursing associations care about them and understand what they're going through. We are out there providing resources."
The Arizona Nurses Association received funding from several organizations — Arizona Foundation for the Future of Nursing and The American Nurses Foundation — to pilot a new text messaging program designed to support the state's nurses. The texts featured either messages of affirmation or resources for support with:
- Managing grief and loss
- Breathing and mindfulness
- Going home checklists
- Moral distress information
- Sleeping and eating well
- Self-compassion breaks
Nurses can sign up for texts using this online form.
The American Nurses Foundation helped fund a successful pilot led by the Arizona Nurses Association that uses SlickText's text messaging platform to share resources and affirmations with more than 4,000 of the state's 95,000 nurses who opted in to receive messages.
The pilot program rolled out in August 2020. Of the nurses who opted into the program, 75% of them work in direct patient care and 60% work with COVID patients. During the 8 week pilot, the Arizona Nurses Association sent out 16 informational and affirmative messages.
Wendy Knefelkamp, Director of Operations for the Arizona Nurses Association, said, "The participants responded well to texts that reminded them they weren't alone and we were there to support them."
Affirmations included messages like this: "#RNConnect Trust in yourself and believe in your skills. You survived a rough year and will survive whatever is to come."
Responses showed how badly the nurses needed — and appreciated — these messages:
- "Yesterday's message could NOT have come at a better time. Thank you."
- "Thank you for this. My own employer hasn't said it to me even when I told them how morale among the troops is sinking."
- "Thank you. Today was an exhausting day."
- "Yeah! We all need this. Thank you!!!"
The text messaging pilot supports the organization's mental health wellbeing initiative. The team recognized that they could use SlickText's messaging platform to connect nurses with helpful resources.
Over 86% of nurses strongly agreed or agreed that they found text message resources useful for improving their wellbeing, and 91% felt that the number of texts they received was just the right amount.
Knefelkamp said, "I liked SlickText because I could understand the website and I didn't have to deal with coding. They offered a one-stop shop, and no one in the association needed to have a lot of IT knowledge. This platform has a smooth, easy-to-use interface and low costs."
For more information about the work the Arizona Foundation for the Future of Nursing is doing to ensure a sustainable nursing workforce, please visit aznurse.org. For more information on SlickText, please visit slicktext.com.
SlickText is the leading text messaging platform. Since 2012, SlickText has turned text messaging into a major competitive advantage for companies. Today, SlickText has helped over 177,000 customers across North America, including ESPN, American Cancer Society and FedEx. They use SlickText's award-winning software to drive relationships, leverage data, and get results. SlickText has been named a 2021 High Performer by G2 Crowd, and is a former Technology Innovator of the Year. The company has dual headquarters in Jamestown, NY and Nashville, TN. To learn more about SlickText, visit slicktext.com.
BLASTmedia for SlickText
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