The emergency situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic has got the entire industry in so much of a rush to combat the spread of the virus that something very important is being overlooked. Doctors and other frontline health workers all over the world are being exposed to traumatizing events everyday, taking a toll on their mental state and making it hard for them to stay balanced during this crucial time. The recent news of a doctor in New York City that committed suicide after expressing to her family that she was bothered by what she had to experience everyday is a tragic example of that. Left unchecked, physicians suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can become a problem for a significant portion of the health industry – similar to the way “shellshock” affected so many soldiers during and long after World War I.
Just taking a look at what doctors face on a daily basis ever since the coronavirus outbreak, it is easy to understand why PTSD is on the rise. No matter how long one has been practicing medicine, it is never easy to lose a patient – and patients are being lost at an alarming rate in many areas in America and the world. On top of this, the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE’s), the constant possibility of getting infected, and the sacrificing of precious time with their families makes this an extraordinarily difficult situation for the everyone involved in the response to Covid-19. As if that wasn’t enough, perhaps the most difficult pill to swallow for physicians is having to take on the burden of making life and death decisions under relentless time pressure, such as the way some doctors in Italy had to choose which patients would be granted treatment with a ventilator, effectively determining the chances of someone living or dying.
For those who are starting to feel the symptoms that come with being mentally unwell, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that regular exercise, sleep, and a balanced diet can help ensure that you have the energy to be as resilient as possible. Furthermore, they also recommend avoiding too much news directly relating to the pandemic in an effort to stay grounded and avoid worsening your mental health. Finally, and most importantly, do not hesitate to seek professional help as soon as you feel yourself being affected because of heightened anxiety, depression, and/or other mental health problems – call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration on their 24/7 helpline toll-free (1-800-985-5990) or get in touch with them through their SAMHSA Disaster Mobile App.
It’s hard enough being a doctor during a pandemic, and having to deal with nuisance administrative tasks can drive even the best beyond the boiling point. Let yourself focus on what’s important – call TukkoMed and find the help you need today.