The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on the health frameworks of most countries, particularly on the psychological health and well-being of medical professionals on the frontlines of pandemic response efforts. Even though with the distribution of vaccines and the following protocols, the infection rates have declined across the world, the challenges for health systems are likely to persist. However, we are now dealing with significant mental health issues that have been triggered by the pandemic.
The potential consequences to improper mental health are deep and far-reaching, affecting millions of people who have been deeply affected during state or global lockdowns. Some have been left vulnerable due to staying in isolation, some have lost friends and family to the virus or face substantially high anxieties about contracting the disease, while some are still facing the catastrophic economic effects of the pandemic. During this tough recovery stage of the pandemic, the mental health requirements of medical professionals and those on the frontlines of the pandemic situation cannot be overlooked.
Work overload, long shifts, a fast pace, an absence of physical or mental safety, chronicity of care, ethical conflicts, perceived job security, and workplace-related harassment or social isolation are all factors that contribute to high stress among healthcare workers. Exhaustion, depression, anxiety symptoms, sleep problems, and other illnesses can result from the resulting mental trauma. Workplace stress can have a negative effect on the competence, quality of patient care, effectiveness, and general quality of life of health care providers.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more than 2.85 million deaths worldwide. During that time, many healthcare professionals, both in medical treatment and the psychological health sector, have faced difficulties in adapting quickly to changes in numbers of patients, increasing demands, medical roles, new technologies, and ways of working. They faced a relatively high risk of infection, as well as constraints in protective equipment, and managing patients’ anxieties and ambiguity about how to effectively treat and respond to complicated manifestations of the virus.
Self-care vs Providing care
Most healthcare providers are trained to prioritize patients. Self-care does not always take precedence among healthcare professionals, who may be afraid of being judged by others or feel selfish at the prospect of attending to their own needs. Practicing self-care, on the other hand, may be essential to coping with the commitments, volume of work, and demands of their profession. They also help medical practitioners obtain a higher balance or integration between their job and their spare time and protect their health, well-being, and satisfaction with life.
To plan and implement policies that protect patient health information while avoiding fraud and other ethical breaches, health professionals must participate in a training course. Healthcare employees must receive compliance training for LMS. Learning management systems, such as HealthStream Learning Center has reviews, where its customers have attested that it can help cross-train nurses and caregivers while also automating personalized competency plans on a large scale. It enables healthcare organizations to develop, organize, and maintain compliance requirements training for their employees. Among the features available, many HealthStream Learning Center reviews highlight features like course library, data transfer, class roster, reporting attempts, and data encryption.
Rotate workers from high-stress to low-stress functions when possible and within legal limits. Assign inexperienced workers to more experienced coworkers who can offer assistance, supervise stress, and reaffirm safety practices. Implement schedule flexibility for workers who are directly affected by having a sick family member.
Finally, the appropriate way to protect remote employees’ mental health is to nurture an open line of communication culture. This should apply not only to work discussions but also to personal communications.
Inform employees that they can contact their immediate boss, senior managers, or HR if they have any questions or concerns about their mental health. Let them know that their well-being always takes precedence over work tasks. Managers should be trained to be good listeners and to learn their employees’ habits so that they can spot unusual behavior. Employ compassionate employees who will assist a coworker who is in need.