below are testimonials from real world experiences and insights of those who have trained with our programs. Each testimonial is a unique story, and any and all results reported in these testimonials are the culmination of numerous variables. To view our full disclaimer, click here.
Scott unveiled the peer support program during the COVID-19 pandemic when mandated lockdowns and physical distancing guidelines were implemented, contributing to higher anxiety, depression, and worsening psychological distress among healthcare workers. The peer support program significantly impacted the nurses’ overall mental health, providing emotional support and empowerment. Through advocacy, shared resources, mutual understanding, and respect, peer support workers helped fellow associates. Scott successfully demonstrated the value of peer encouragement and that peer support groups are an essential component of the healthcare professional’s team.
Bridget RN, BSN, Staff Nurse
COVID had brought about many changes to our lives, workflows, relationships, and caregiving processes. My employees frequently shared challenges with me, their manager) for not knowing how to process what they were seeing, feeling, and experiencing and came to me to discover what to do next. I had no words. I had no answers. I felt helpless.
They came to me expressing fears of losing more patients, uncertainties in their home lives, and concerns over their mental health. I had the same concerns.
I went to my leadership teams and they had no answers. They kept saying things like “It’s ok. It will get better. The staff are resilient and they can handle it.” Are they? Really? I don’t fee like I’m resilient, but the staff keep throwing out words like “burnout” and “traumatized” but what does that mean?
I heard about some of the work that Scott was doing and figured it couldn’t hurt to ask if this was something that could help our team. He shared with me about some of the “listening sessions” he and a team were doing to offer some support where people can come together and share what they have experienced. He described it sort of like a support group. He also offered to share some more assistance by having me and a few others take the peer support training. I was wanting to do something…or anything…to help my staff.
I took the idea of listening sessions back to my team and offered a few times where staff could come in and talk freely. No other leadership would be there. I just sat. I listened.
I heard my staff sharing their deep personal struggles. Of pain. Of death. Of Sorrow.
I didn’t know what to say or how to express what I was feeling after they shared. It was real. It was raw. It was beautiful.
Have you ever had a job that you dreamed about doing since you were a child, a job that is promoted to be loving, caring and rewarding? Then you grow up and are finally able to work that job, finish all the intense schooling, start that dream job, and work it for a few years and absolutely love it, it was everything you thought it would be. You actually miss it if you are gone from it for just a few days. This is a job that gives you purpose and fills your heart because helping others and improving their health is what you strive to do. Then COVID changed all of that.
This is what had happened to my staff.
They didn’t now how to express it and they had not been “allowed” to express it until we created a safe space for them to talk openly in.
So, what was the result?
They thanked me. They hugged me. They were heard.
All they wanted was to be heard and have their struggle validated. Up to this point all they had heard was “It’s ok. You’ll get over it. It’s just part of the job.” Or other things like, “Well, back in my day ‘we’ had 8 patients of our own and we struggled, too.” Things like that are never ok. They aren’t supportive. No one feels heard when they hear things like that.
I finally began to understand what my team had been trying to express to me. I was starting to get it.
Then I attended the peer support training Scott was offering.
I had some understanding coming in after experiencing these listening sessions, but Scott went much further, deeper, and shared the “why” behind some of the emotional (and now physical) trauma that my team had been trying to express to me. He shared symptoms that had been so real in each person that I was blinded to see because I didn’t understand. He was very supportive and allowed me to share my experiences in this safe space. I finally felt like a light bulb had been turned on when my team was sharing with me and this light only grew after this additional training.
So, why do I share all of this?
Oh my goodness, if I did not have this peer support structure and my peers in general, I have no clue where I would be. Would I be doing nursing anymore? I think so, but I don’t know. Through the power of peer support, I finally could relate and understand what I and my team had been feeling for so long. This provided a resource I could respond to without feeling like I was going to get backlash or be attacked. This structure brings about people who have “been there” and “get it”. This structure is real, truthful, and present to protect nurses and staff.
Peer support supports change. Peer support produces results. Peer support saves lives.
Chris, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager
Have you ever had a job that you dreamed about doing since you were a child, a job that is promoted to be loving, caring and rewarding? Then you grow up and are finally able to work that job, finish all the intense schooling, start that dream job, and work it for a few years and absolutely love it, it was everything you thought it would be. You actually miss it when you are gone from it for just a few days. This is a job that gives you purpose and fills your heart because helping others and improving their health is what you strive to do. Then culture gradually changes, policies change, surveys/reimbursement change, money drives the industry and things just change. Now you are around 8 years down the road and a crazy virus hits that changes things completely, the “icing on the cake”. Here you are on the frontline terrified of what is happening. Now all the sudden everyone loves you, the support brings tears to your eyes, and you are considered a hero (which as most of us would say, “I am just doing my job”). You feel respected because you are helping in the middle of the pandemic to keep people alive. But wait, do not get used to this treatment it is short lived. Buckle in for the roller coaster ride of mental abuse from not only patients, society, but also your employer, an organization you thought would always have your back….heartbreak has kicked in.
I am a nurse, I am a nurse practitioner, I am one that used to love this job, I am a friend, I am a girlfriend, I am a daughter, I am a niece, I am a sister, I am a fur mom, I am a PERSON. Sadly, I am also someone who is so burnt out that some days I feel like I could give it all up and have a complete career change or just not do anything at all. I saw an older gentleman this past winter shoveling snow at a grocery store and envied his job. I envied the freedom I felt like he had being out in the fresh air with noone spitting at him, kicking him, punching him, threatening his family, calling him a b*tch or other derogatory words. I envy jobs that work for organizations that do not mentally abuse their employees with threats of stripping their rights if they do not comply to their rules of injecting things into their bodies. These same organizations were calling us heroes months before, can you believe that? Now they are paying strangers working beside you three times, if not four times the amount of money they are paying you, an employee of ten+ years, and you just worked so hard for them. Due to this there is a mass exodus of staff and the organization does not care, they continue to pay three-four times more to the temporary travelers, does this show you the value they have in their employees? These same organizations stating they are a Fortune whatever companies for being a “best place” to work. How? To sum my rant up, I describe the mental abuse these organizations put on their employees like the domestic violence abuse I would see abusers put on their victims, which I learned in my SANE training to help sexual assault/domestic violence victims. Like many abuse victims there is a dependence as employees you have on the abuser (the organization) and have to return to the toxic environment to pay the bills or to protect your family. We as employees need our job to pay for our kids, our home, our food, our bills so we are stuck in a mentally/physically draining job and are forced to comply to their rules, forced to wait with anxiety to see what abuse is coming next, all along while receiving mental/physical abuse from our patients who are entitled to treat us that way because they do not enforce lawful consequences when they hurt us.
Now for our amazing, life saving, peer support group. Oh my goodness, if I did not have the peer support group and my peers in general I have no clue where I would be. I would not be doing nursing anymore, and I honestly do not know if I would be here anymore. That sounds aggressive right? But I was in a very dark place post the covid surge when a place and people I loved were threatening to fire my co-workers and myself after all we had just been through. But the peer support group was there posting things I could relate to and was feeling daily. It was a resource I could respond to without feeling like I was going to get backlash or be attacked. This group has been there through it all. They have been a shoulder to cry on, they provide comic relief, mental health relief/support, family support, grief support, and they provide a sense of comfort that you are not alone in the way you are feeling. This group is real and truthful without sugar coating things to fluff a healthcare organizations image, it is created to PROTECT NURSES AND STAFF, because no one else seems to want to. I hope peer support grows because with everything that is happening in the courts currently with nurses being persecuted, we need ALL the support we can get. I would love to see podcasts, testimonials, conferences, and retreats created where nurses and hospital staff can go to discuss what they are feeling, to create team building, and to support each other in finding coping mechanisms that help. Hey, and maybe different administrations will attend to see how they can improve the lives of what I call “the ground warriors” instead of just lining their pockets. I actually BELIEVE when the peer support group states “WE care”, unfortunately that is the only time I do. I cringe when I get an email with a video from admin with “exciting news” videos because they are not truthful. ACTIONS speak so much louder than words. And for the many saying “well you chose this career”, you are right, I chose to learn/study evidence-based care to provide the best treatment to patients willing to accept this care and compassion without aggression/violence. Again, we are all PEOPLE and deserve the SAME treatment, we deserve to choose happiness and the peer support group reminds me of this daily. To peer support, thank you.
Ashley, MSN,BSN, RN, Staff Nurse
As a manager, I thought I had a good understanding about how to connect with my employees. Then I took the training. The training alone helped me more than I ever thought it would. I can’t recommend the peer support enough.
Carmen, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager