Workers on the front line are caring for countless COVID-19 patients, but who’s taking care of them?

There is one nurse who is making sure that her fellow health care workers are taken care of.

News 12 Staff

Apr 25, 2020, 1:01 AM

Updated 1,449 days ago

Share:

Front line workers are being hailed as heroes for their work with COVID-19 patients. The work can also take a toll on their own mental health.
But there is one nurse who is making sure that her fellow health care workers are taken care of.
Julie Banasz is a nurse in the emergency department at Jersey Shore Medical Center. She works smack in the middle of the front lines in the battle against the coronavirus. She has not seen her daughter in a month – the child is staying with her grandparents in case Banasz is a carrier of the virus.
“My husband got sick back then. We immediately shipped her off to the in-laws and now she’s at my mom’s,” Banasz says.
Banasz says that the font-line work is taking a mental and emotional toll on her colleagues. But she also runs Tides Health and Wellness Coaching, which helps health care workers, police, fire, EMS and military spouses deal with the stresses of their jobs. And to take better care of themselves.
“A lot of my clients are, they’re just struggling. It’s a lot of anxiety. It’s a lot of fear,” she says. “We need empathy. We need someone who can understand what we went through.”
Banasz says that the workers go through what she called “secondary trauma.”
Photos: The Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandemic
undefined
 
“We’re the people who are there for everybody at their worst moments. And with no visitors allowed in hospitals, no family members allowed in ambulances, people are alone. And we’re the ones providing comfort in their last moments. So, that because really hard for that front-liner. For that front-line health care provider it is a struggle to take all that on themselves,” she says.
Banasz says that she expects her wellness coaching business to get busy as the height of the pandemic gives way to emotional and mental aftershocks. She says that being busy would mean that those health care works would be getting the help they need after they are done helping everyone else.
“The biggest thing is allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Allowing yourself to say, ‘Hey, I need help. Hey, I need to talk.’ The stigma of mental health needs to go away right now, because the next pandemic could potentially be the mental health suffering of our front-liners,” she says.
The state does have a hotline for those seeking assistance with mental health issues. That number is 866-202-HELP.


More from News 12
2:39
Police: 3 people in van on way to adult day care center killed in crash in South Brunswick

Police: 3 people in van on way to adult day care center killed in crash in South Brunswick

2:05
Rainy weather mostly clears out overnight, windy weather remains

Rainy weather mostly clears out overnight, windy weather remains

Police: Truck driver, toll booth attendant seriously injured in crash at Barnegat Toll Plaza

Police: Truck driver, toll booth attendant seriously injured in crash at Barnegat Toll Plaza

0:51
IRS warns public about potential tax scams as Tax Day deadline approaches

IRS warns public about potential tax scams as Tax Day deadline approaches

2:27
Congress investigates rise in antisemitism at Rutgers, including incident involving student 2 weeks ago

Congress investigates rise in antisemitism at Rutgers, including incident involving student 2 weeks ago

0:22
Elizabeth man sentenced to 25 years in prison for road rage rampage

Elizabeth man sentenced to 25 years in prison for road rage rampage

0:56
Jersey Proud: Miracle League of Mercer County to hold first game of season

Jersey Proud: Miracle League of Mercer County to hold first game of season

0:18
Prosecutor: 4th person charged in New Brunswick shooting that injured 2 Rutgers students

Prosecutor: 4th person charged in New Brunswick shooting that injured 2 Rutgers students

0:20
Newark officials postpone plans for overnight curfew for minors

Newark officials postpone plans for overnight curfew for minors

1:52
New York Red Bulls to hold annual Autism Acceptance match for families with autism

New York Red Bulls to hold annual Autism Acceptance match for families with autism

1:59
Fire destroys iconic restaurant DP’s Pub and Seafood Grill in Garfield

Fire destroys iconic restaurant DP’s Pub and Seafood Grill in Garfield

0:29
Officials: More than 70 lab mice at Seton Hall euthanized due to neglect

Officials: More than 70 lab mice at Seton Hall euthanized due to neglect

1:52
It's been 1 week since a 4.8 earthquake rocked New Jersey. Here's what to know about quakes in the state.

It's been 1 week since a 4.8 earthquake rocked New Jersey. Here's what to know about quakes in the state.

0:17
Authorities: Dead humpback whale that washed up on Long Beach Island had head and neck injuries

Authorities: Dead humpback whale that washed up on Long Beach Island had head and neck injuries

0:23
Police: 43-year-old man killed in crash on Route 80 in Fairfield

Police: 43-year-old man killed in crash on Route 80 in Fairfield

0:20
Authorities: 7 people displaced by fire at multifamily home in Jersey City

Authorities: 7 people displaced by fire at multifamily home in Jersey City

0:30
Police: 2 teens arrested for breaking into Montclair home and stealing car

Police: 2 teens arrested for breaking into Montclair home and stealing car

0:18
Police: Multiple bear sightings reported in Park Ridge

Police: Multiple bear sightings reported in Park Ridge

0:21
Police: 2 suspects wanted for armed robbery in Bayonne

Police: 2 suspects wanted for armed robbery in Bayonne

0:16
Man sentenced to 15 years in prison for hit-and-run that killed teen in South River

Man sentenced to 15 years in prison for hit-and-run that killed teen in South River