Healthcare workers are serving on the frontline to curb the coronavirus, but are paying heavy price in doing so. They are working with the understanding of exposing themselves to the huge risk of getting infected by the virus and not only putting themselves at risk but carrying the virus with them to their homes and families. On top of that, they are rigorously being available on an urgent mode in hospitals and treatment centres and are usually separated from their families for extended hours if not days.
Not just that, they are called over at a short notice due to the increasing number of infected patients and are many a times detained in the hospitals for days. Even though the guidelines recommend that the staff can be exposed to COVID-19 patients only for four hours at a stretch, the scarcity of nurses is making this rule highly difficult to follow.
Once the healthcare workers put on their gown and mask, they have to manage the next eight hours without drinking water or taking any bathroom breaks, as taking off the safety gear would be a risk of catching the infection and spreading it further.
Due to such demanding, tough situations they face frequent bouts of anxiety. Unable to go home because of their commitment to the job, to help people get better, the doctors and nurses are increasingly dealing with social ostracism, harassment and even assault not just by strangers but also by their own neighbours. It is agonizing for them to listen to people accusing them of being the cause for the spread of the virus. The long gestation period of the virus, but it’s highly contagious state is not helping either. While there is a queue at the testing centres, just the fact that there are so many people is making it difficult to practise social distancing. Also, the treatment centres are running out of masks and other safety gear thereby complicating
the situation further.
In order to overcome these shortcomings, the healthcare industry is trying to take revolutionary steps and is readily adapting new healthcare models for swift operations during the pandemic.
- Digital healthcare is turning the world around: Maintaining distance is of the highest importance but getting tested is important too. In order to fight this obstacle, most of the doctors are now using digital and remote
- Telehealth and more: Digital healthcare focuses on telehealth or tele medicine technique where the patients are evaluated, checked, prescribed and monitored without any physical or face-to-face contact. Beyond video
visits or in simple words video calls or interactions, this service includes text, email updates as well as mobile-phone applications that keep a track of all the body reactions and calculates the progress too.
- Another thing that is making healthcare even better is the swift transformations of huge areas or convenient spaces into caring units and facilities. For instance, the train bogey being turned into a convenient quarantined health care unit in India is truly inspiring. We all can see the changes happening in lightning speed. Nothing would be the same once everyone has overcome the virus but what’s important to follow in this ongoing war?
- The most important thing for every frontline warrior is to try and stay mentally strong: Given the overwhelming situation on the personal as well as professional front, stressful encounters leading to long and
short term mental health issues such as depression, anxiety attacks, loneliness are increasing. If you feel the situation is out of your control, seek to speak with a professional counsellor over an online consultation to
loosen up the strings a bit.
- Acceptance is the key: Being open to the change without getting affected is what will help the doctors and nurses to stand strong until the war ends. Accepting the new norms without getting flustered and guiding the
people to understand the importance of the need of the hour would make the situations seem less taxing.
- Self-care: The most essential key for getting through the tough time counts in self-care. If this gets neglected, coping up with the strenuous situation might get even worse. Though the pandemic times demand a lot from
the frontline warriors, simple things like keeping a diet check, some quick exercises and required sleep hours can keep you going.