Are You a Frontline COVID-19 Worker? Consider the Physical and Mental Tolls
As the world faces the increasing challenges of the coronavirus crisis, the frontline workers are on center stage. Not only are healthcare workers risking their own lives to treat COVID-19 patients, but they are also putting their mental and emotional well-being at risk. As the global pandemic rages on, healthcare workers need to be especially prudent to take care of themselves. The threat of the virus continues to exacerbate the normal working conditions of medical professionals, leading to a significant toll on these essential workers. Here are just a few of the ways that healthcare workers are suffering as a result of this global crisis.
Risk to Physical Health
One of the most significant risks of this pandemic to medical workers is the toll that being on the frontline poses to their physical health. As a frontline worker, these individuals are putting their own physical well-being in danger every time that they treat a COVID-19 patient. Every day these professionals show up to work knowing that they will never be completely protected from the deadly virus. If you are a healthcare worker, it is important that you acknowledge these risks and the toll that this reality takes on both your physical and mental health. It is understandable to be worried. Nurture this sense of anxiety with grace and understanding.
Lack of Social Support
Being a healthcare worker during this time can be extremely isolating. Not only are many workers being asked to work overtime, but some are also intentionally avoiding social situations out of fear that they could be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. This contributes to a sense of isolation and a lack of social support. Mental health professionals caution that it is imperative that people stay connected during this new way of life. However, this is not always possible for medical personnel who are not able to lead their old way of life. On top of everything else, these workers are also dealing with the same issues plaguing the general population, including school closures, economic uncertainty, and difficulties obtaining essential items such as groceries.
Sense of Helplessness
There is no doubt that this crisis has left citizens from all over the world feeling helpless. This feeling is especially felt in the medical profession, as many work tirelessly to care for the sick and the dying. In the worst-case situations, some workers are being forced to make inconceivable decisions. Because of the high contagion factor of COVID-19, healthcare workers are often the sole source of comfort for those taking their last breaths. Having to be that source of comfort for grieving families weighs heavily on the minds of these heroes simply trying to do their job. Never before has this generation of healthcare workers seen so much death due to one cause. It is only natural that this turmoil will lead to intense feelings of helplessness as frontline workers come to grips with the gravity of this situation.
Separation From Loved Ones
In some of the hardest-hit cities, many frontline warriors are being separated from their families. Some of these workers are being asked to stay near the hospitals so that they can be available at a moment's notice. Other workers are choosing to isolate themselves from their immediate family out of concern for their own physical health. Being away from family during such a trying time is understandably difficult for many of these heroes who are already sacrificing so much. Those that do return each night are often undergoing a litany of precautions to keep the germs at bay. It is no surprise that this stress is starting to wear on these essential employees who have already been charged with so much responsibility on the job.
If you are a frontline worker, it is imperative that you are aware of these risks so that you can take steps to mitigate the dangers that they pose to your overall health. The ability to provide care to others does not make you immune to experiencing difficulties yourself. It is important to recognize these challenges so that you can take the necessary steps to address them. Your own sense of well-being is on the line.
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