While many people stayed in the comfort of their own homes during the early stages of the COVID-19 epidemic, frontline healthcare staff confronted a sudden surge of patients with the new, highly contagious, life-threatening disease. The hospital workers were stressed as a result of this.
Without a question, the health and care sector has been one of the most impacted by the epidemic, with individuals employed or contracted in it facing a slew of threats to their bodily, emotional, and social well-being. healthcare workers are at a greater risk of COVID19 infection than the general population. Concerns about the pandemic’s larger impact on healthcare workers, as well as their critical position at the vanguard of the response, were noted by the Seventy-third World Health Assembly.
6 Challenges Healthcare Workers are Facing During this Pandemic
During a recent poll, 40 % of healthcare employees said they were pressured by work overload at their jobs; when the pool was narrowed to only nurses, the percentage went to 48 percent. The poll also highlighted a significant turnover issue among healthcare employees who take on more tasks beyond their comfort level. Healthcare workers are having to take on a lot of workload due to the increased number of COVID19 patients. By healthcare workers being overworked, it means they are not able to give their best to all patients.
Now more than ever healthcare workers are stretched. There is a major worker shortage due to the absence of workers who may opt to self-isolate when they have a cough and are unsure whether it is COVID 19 or not. Many healthcare workers are not working as many hours as they used to because they are self-isolating when any of their family members or themselves develop a cold. There is an overwhelming number of people infected by the virus and there are not enough nurses and doctors to treat them. Hospitals are overcrowded especially during the pandemic peak and all workers are expected to be all hands on deck. It’s bad enough that they’re dealing with a virus surge but it’s even worse having to work 12+ hours shifts.
3. Risk of Infection
According to World Health Organization, between January 2020 and May 2021, about 80 000 and 180 000 health and care workers might have perished from COVID-19.
This is because they are all in the frontline dealing and handling COVID19 patients directly. Hospitals and isolation centers are becoming overcrowded, vital medical equipment is in short supply, and physicians and nurses are overworked. The increased viral load in hospital settings may render healthcare workers especially vulnerable to the illness. Healthcare workers being infected means they are putting their families, friends, and other people at risk of contracting the virus.
4. Lack of enough personal protective equipment
Either the hospitals do not have enough of these or they cannot afford to get PPEs. In these unique times, health care providers must adapt and be adaptable so that healthcare workers may continue to protect themselves, their colleagues, their families, and their patients. As the virus spreads, it is becoming increasingly important for health care workers and other people in our communities to protect themselves. According to Forbes, throughout the majority of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the United States had a variety of shortages. One persistent problem has been a dearth of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks and protective gowns. Frontline medical professionals have had to limit their usage of disposable gloves, gowns, N95 respirator masks, and other protective gear required to prevent the spread of the virus. Health care workers must refuse to care for patients, even if doing so without adequate PPE poses a significant risk.
5. Mental Health
Being at the forefront of helping those infected by COVID19 has made healthcare workers’ mental health take a turn for the worst. According to Globalization and Health, 41.9 percent of health professionals reported anxiety symptoms, 37.5 percent reported depression symptoms, and 33.9 percent reported sleeplessness symptoms. The stigmatization of health care providers was shown to be strongly linked with an increased risk of having anxiety, sadness, and insomnia symptoms. Health professionals who were stigmatized, those who had a history of medication for mental health problems, and those who reported insufficient preventative measures in their job were more likely to acquire mental health outcomes. An emphasis on enhancing the mental health of health professionals should be undertaken immediately, with a focus on stigma reduction, maintaining a sufficient support system, such as personal protection equipment, and family assistance for individuals with a history of mental health problems.
6. Not being with their families
During the early stages of the epidemic, many brave doctors and nurses traveled across the country to “COVID-19 hot sites” to give further assistance as needed. However, as the COVID-19 load spreads across the country, providers’ capacity to be relocated across areas may become increasingly constrained.
Many states continue to have required quarantine regulations for visitors, which may influence providers contemplating travel assignments. Many healthcare workers are avoiding their families to prevent them from contracting the virus. This is because healthcare workers are most likely to get infected in the line of work. This has forced many of them to go for months without interacting with their families and friends. This makes them so lonely and isolated. Some health workers even had to live in hospitals to avoid contracting the virus from other people and bringing it to their patients while some of them have sent their kids to go live with other family members to avoid passing on the virus to them.
In Conclusion …
The rising stress on healthcare staff is also causing long-term issues. Early retirements have increased for several providers. Many medical and nursing institutions have postponed clinical rotations, potentially reducing the number of new graduates available in the coming year. Finally, some delayed employees have found new jobs outside of healthcare. Healthcare workers are crucial now more than ever before. If you’re one, we appreciate your efforts and sacrifice.
Thrudemic would love to hear your story if you’re a nurse or a doctor. Tell us about your experience so far with the pandemic and how you’re coping.
Let us know some of the challenges you’re facing as a healthcare worker amid this COVID19 pandemic. Comment down below.