With the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, EMS providers face additional challenges to our health and well-being. Long shifts, odd hours, sleep deprivation, overtime/second jobs, and trauma exposure can do damage to our personal and professional relationships. There’s no better time than right now to learn healthy relationship and communication skills that you can put to use immediately. Take advice from these EMS experts, Rhonda and Jonathan, on effective ways to manage stressors and mitigate negative impacts on relationships in this novel world—where long shifts are now followed by more crowded households and social distancing.
Rhonda Kelly, EMT-P, ASN, BS
National Director of GMR Life, Global Medical Response
Rhonda Kelly is the National Director of Health, Wellness and Resiliency for Global Medical Response (GMR). She is also the founder of Responder Strong, a collaboration between emergency responders and the National Mental Health Innovation Center at University of Colorado Anschutz working to improve mental health support for responders and their families. She has served as the medical provider on Antarctic icebreakers, as a volunteer and career EMT, as a firefighter/paramedic for 17 years, a paramedic educator and an ER and psych ER nurse prior to her current role. She also has several certifications in wellness, health coaching, mindfulness and nutrition.
Jonathan Dickerson, MBA
Community Engagement Manager at The Center for Relationship Education
With over 20 years of experience spanning small business consulting, corporate executive sales and nonprofit training, Jonathan brings a wealth of knowledge to his role, highlighting first-hand experience from a diverse pool of interpersonal communication strategies. He served on the Board of Directors at The Center for Relationship Education for 6 years before transitioning to a full-time staff position. When you meet him, ask him about being an Air Force brat, performing on Broadway, playing professional football or his thesis “Bottle It: Depression in the Law Enforcement Community.” Jonathan and his wife, Stacy, are avid travelers and delight in sharing experiences with their daughter, Aliyah.
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