How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect the mental health of the Health Care Workers?

covid19 mental health

Mental health during this Covid-19 pandemic is essential as saving lives, especially on Health Workers…

As health care workers, there came a time when we thought of quitting. One of the reasons we are still fighting amidst this pandemic is to sustain our family’s needs; that’s why even though it’s hard, we continue to fight. We live through our profession and our job as well. There are a lot of situations that affect our mental health as well-being that might be nothing for some people.

The following factors could potentially affect our Mental health are:

Experiencing Discrimination and Stigma

We, as health care workers, commonly experience discrimination. We were especially walking in public wearing our uniforms, and people will think of us as carriers of a disease that might be contagious. Sometimes, we heard unpleasant words from them. Eventually, this became usual to us even though humiliating.

Social isolation or loneliness

Health workers are needed to be isolated while rendering service to their patients, especially this time of the pandemic. We are not allowed to get nearer to our family and friends because it might worsen the spreading of the virus. It might be ironic to look at, but this method helps the number of affected people lessen.

But how can this possibly affect our mental health? Being in a narrowed place with limited access on the outside may sound boring; of course, we are all human beings and need to interact with other people.

Bereavement (losing someone close)

Most of the time, we experience being helpless, significantly when we cannot help our family revive back to life. We felt helpless because we could help other people when they were sick but unable to support our very own family because of certain circumstances that we are currently experiencing. Regret will always bother us. The what-ifs and whys are also disturbing us.

Unemployment or Losing a job

During this pandemic where the economy is down and the source of income is scarce, having a job is essential. Losing a job or unemployment is one of the reasons why people are having a lot of debt, and it is so depressing and frustrating where to find money to make it through the day. The saddest thing about being a health care worker is while other people think of us as the bravest, known to be the frontline, but at the same time, the last line of defense has fear and doubt deep inside.

Even the soldiers who had weapons in their hands were afraid of being infected, yet we in the frontline fought this kind of war without a single gun. We are fighting because of the need to do it to save humanity, sustain our family’s needs, and take the risk of not losing a job.

Worried about exposing loved ones

Every day we encounter different types of patients. Yet, sometimes we don’t mind that their symptoms are common signs and symptoms of COVID-19 even though we are aware of precautions, but their exposure is undeniable. It makes us worried about exposing ourselves to our loved ones since we come home every day.

Emotionally and physically exhausted

Anyone can experience emotional exhaustion, especially if they live with long-term stress or have recently experienced a significant change in their lives. But some people are more at risk than others, including people who share demanding jobs. Those in challenging or stressful jobs are more likely to experience emotional exhaustion and burnout than others.

Most of us know the role of being a health care worker. We experience being discriminated against and humiliated. Despite the long hours, adjustments of periods of sleep, we had still ended up having discrimination. Sometimes it causes us both physical and emotional exhaustion that, in turn, can affect our behavior towards our patients.

Not getting enough emotional support

Even though this is for our suitability, we restricted hugging, kissing, shaking hands, and any intimate gesture due to pandemics. But this very thing is also one of the things that help us to get emotional support. We barely recognize our family and friends because of following protocols like wearing masks.

Struggling with parenting

This factor is very common to mothers who have minor children left at home and need to breastfeed. The protocols have hindered them from coming home to attend to their children’s need to be breastfed.

Final Thoughts!

Despite everything that we’ve been through, we still chose to rise and fight. For me, I still believe in a golden rule, “Treat others the way you would like to treat yourself.” After all, we live on the same land and have the same goal to eradicate this pandemic. We sometimes misunderstand and judge other people, and even though we cannot please anybody, we can still co-exist. Hand in hand, together, we can fight as one.

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