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Healthwatch 16: Geisinger RISE

Making sure the caregivers get the care they need one-on-one in this Healthwatch 16 report.

Imagine what happens in a day's time at a hospital, even before COVID-19. It can be a stressful, and at times, heartbreaking job.

"The program, at its heart, is a way of taking care of all the people who are taking care of our entire community here."

We spoke with Dr. Charlotte Collins, a clinical psychologist at Geisinger Health System, about something called the RISE Program.

RISE stands for Resilience in Stressful Events. It was a program already in the works earlier this year

"And then COVID came along, and we decided we needed to move it quickly," Dr. Collins said.

RISE connects a Geisinger health provider with a Geisinger peer, not a counselor, someone who has been there.

RISE counselors had to be nominated; then they were contacted to see if they'd be interested.

Dr. Collins says more than 100 people said yes and were trained.

"We call it a 'care for the caregivers' program. Lots of things happen in a hospital. People get sick. People die. And we are connected to the families and the patients."

Now, Dr. Collins wants to get the word out that Geisinger staff members have other connections they can make as well.

"In a mass trauma, our lives are not at risk. In this, we have to be very careful that we don't contract it or bring it home to our family members," said Dr. Collins.

And she says because of restrictions on visitors, caregivers and staff have to fill the role of loved one as well, which means the toll is emotional and physical.

RISE is being done virtually, of course, for now.