When most people think about telehealth they think of worried mothers calling about their babies, elderly patients calling about ailments, and middle-aged adults worried if they are having a heart attack or just gas. Often times, one overlooks the role of trained medical representatives in providing emotional and health support. Studies show that stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are costing employers an estimated $225.8 billion each year by contributing to high turnover, burnout, exhaustion, and decreased motivation. Providing trained 24/7 representatives to answer wellness and health questions, such as Continuwell’s engagement ambassadors, enables companies to provide their employees with professionals who can not only resolve medical symptoms but also answer questions about company benefits and resources, as well as provide empathy when employees need it.
These engagement ambassadors provide employees with a safe and objective place for empathy. They are someone that employees can talk to about depression, sexual abuse, cases of child abuse, anxiety, and panic. In the Continuwell platform, our nurses will also educate employees on company resources, common health issues, and share any documents requested by the company. Below are nurses case studies that illustrate how our nurses have gone beyond assessing physical symptoms in order to treat the whole person.
One evening, a Continuwell nurse, Nancy¹, received a call from Heather¹, a member who was experiencing lower abdominal pain and irregular spotting but did not want to go to the hospital. After our nurse asked a few questions about her symptoms, Heather opened up and disclosed that the reason she did not want to go to the ED was because she had been raped by her abusive boyfriend and was terrified of him.
Once this was disclosed, Nancy immediately used the Sexual Assault guidelines to help the caller. The nurse told Heather to try to gather as much evidence of the assault and go to the ER, preferably with a friend or family member for support. Heather was still afraid to go to the hospital and did not want to report the incident out of fear of what the boyfriend would do. Nancy encouraged her to go to the ER for evaluation and her safety. Heather finally agreed to go to her clinic. Once the call was completed, Nancy reported the incident to the local police department² and to Heather’s doctor for follow up.
Continuwell nurse Joan¹ received a call from Bill¹ Sunday night. He stated that he was depressed and anxious and wanted to commit suicide. Joan comforted him and began to follow the Suicide Concerns guidelines.
After asking all of the corresponding questions, giving Bill the suggested care advice, and just listening to him he seemed to have ended the call feeling better. However, Joan took it a step further and alerted the local police department and his physician. Bill ended up calling three more times that night to talk with Joan. When his physician reached out to him the following day, Bill said that Joan had helped him and that he no longer was having suicidal thoughts.
Studies show that when employees feel good, they are more productive, engaged, and optimistic at work. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to. Providing your employees with a professional who will be empathetic and objective, with your employees’ safety in mind will help to increase productivity and develop a culture of health in the office.
Many times there are underlying issues that are not related to the reason why the employee is calling, for instance, they may have had a bad day at work, be financially strapped, are taking care of a dying family member, or getting a divorce. Anxiety and lack of sleep can make any situation feel unmanageable, but after calling an engagement ambassador, employees will have an action plan and feel more in control. Our engagement ambassadors can also educate your employees and members about other resources that you offer for them to get the help they need.
As part of our enterprise solution that promotes employee engagement and easy access to your company resources, Continuwell also offers Free 24/7 access to U.S. registered nurses who empower people by educating them about company resources, discussing common health issues and sharing any documents requested by the company. If you want to increase employee engagement and overall commitment to your company, contact us today.
¹ Names and other identifying information have been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.
² Nancy was only able to give the police Heather’s number to follow up due to privacy issues.