Effect of the pandemic on mental health of healthcare workers
Recent studies have highlighted the effect of the pandemic on the mental health of healthcare workers, especially in the hotspot countries.
Mental Issues among the Healthcare Workers
Studies have highlighted several mental issues among the frontline healthcare workers:
- Depressive symptoms
- Fear and anger
- Post-traumatic stress symptoms etc.
The current pandemic has put a lot of stress on the healthcare system and its personnel across the world. The mental issues have arisen due to:
- High risk to the workers themselves. In China, over 3,000 healthcare workers were infected and more than 22 of them died. In Italy, over 20% of the healthcare workers were infected.
- Nurses were more at risk than the doctors due to prolonged exposure.
- The conditions of isolation and inhumane working hours.
- Insufficient manpower compounded with scarce medical equipment and infrastructure.
- Lack of training for handling ‘extreme pressure’ and ‘taking impossible decisions’.
- Setting up of helplines for healthcare workers, along the lines of those being set up for the general public.
- Preparation of the medical staff to make sense of morally challenging situations.
- After the crisis is over, the healthcare workers could be subject to active monitoring and could be provided with support and evidence based treatment for their mental health issues.