Many California Healthcare Workers are in the frontline of treating COVID-19 treatment. Treating pandemic patients can take an emotional toll on healthcare professionals.
A recent study looked into this psychological impact of COVID-19 on frontline healthcare workers. Healthcare workers who suffer emotional symptoms as a result of their work may need to seek medical attention. If this is the circumstance, these emotional symptoms may give rise to a work injury claim. As a result, a workers’ compensation case may be claimed.
This article will look into COVID-19’s emotional impact on frontline health care workers and how they can address this issue.
What are the General Mental Health Challenges of Healthcare Workers?
Irrespective of COVID-19, Healthcare Workers are at risk for emotional injuries, burnout is a common emotional problem. “Burnout in healthcare workers is widely understood as having three separate dimensions.” It can include feelings of emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced personal achievement. (Freudenberger, 1974; Selamu et al., 2019). Deng D, Naslund JA. Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Frontline Health Workers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Harv Public Health Rev (Camb). 2020;28:https://harvardpublichealthreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Deng-and-Naslund-2020-28.pdf.
Studies have demonstrated prevalence of burnout to be as high as 70% for physicians and 50% for nurses in some high-income countries (Aiken, 2002; Lamothe et al., 2014). Supra.
How Can a Public Health Crises Impact the HealthCare Workers Emotionally?
“Public health crises such as infectious disease outbreaks, in the form of either epidemic or pandemic, can often bring about high levels of acute and chronic stress in both the victims and frontline health workers. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, 5th edition (DSM-5) as a constellation of emotional and behavioral changes in response to traumatic events. Individuals with PTSD often experience recurrent flashbacks, nightmares, and uncontrollable anxiety.” Deng D, Naslund JA. Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Frontline Health Workers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Harv Public Health Rev (Camb). 2020;28:https://harvardpublichealthreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Deng-and-Naslund-2020-28.pdf.
Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Healthcare Workers Emotionally?
Several emotional conditions have been connected to COVID-19. Studies have found increase level of PTSD and Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Insomnia among healthcare workers. Supra.
Are There Risk Factors with Respect to Healthcare Workers’ Emotional Reactions?
Direct Contact With COVID-19 Patients: Healthcare Workers in direct contact with COVID 19 patients were found to have higher prevalence of emotional symptoms.
Work Experience: Workers with fewer years of work experience were found to be at risk of emotional symptoms.
Sex: Female workers had a higher prevalence of affective symptoms than male counterparts.
Occupation: Nurses were found to have more emotional issues versus other medical staff. Supra.
What Can a Health Worker Do If They Are Having Emotional Systems?
First, they should seek medical attention. This can be done via Health Insurance, an Employee Assistance Program or Workers’ Compensation. It is recommended that a Healthcare Worker consult with an attorney prior to deciding which route to initially take.
What If I Need Advice?
If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for over 28 years. Contact us today for more information.