COVID-19: The Psychological Trauma Awaiting Our Frontline Healthcare Workers
Anxiety and Fear in the Pandemic
We are in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic. For many of us this is the first time we have dealt with something of this magnitude. Our frontline healthcare workers are scared. They’re anxious. They worry about their patients, their own families, and themselves. Many of them go to work fearful that they can’t comfort the patients dying of the virus and of contracting the deadly illness themselves. Walk into any emergency department or ICU and the anxiety and fear is palpable. And in many places it’s growing.
I wanted to start a series of podcasts that tackle what we in healthcare are all facing on a daily basis and what we will most certainly face in the future. Doctors, nurses, and other providers are frustrated. They are tired, worried, fearful, and uncertain about when the nightmare will end.
What Does the Future Hold?
I don’t know how long this pandemic will last. No one really does. But we should all prepare for the wave of psychological injuries that we will be seeing in frontline healthcare providers. We need to start thinking and talking about this right now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now. We are all going to need each other, and we will all need to support those of us who are struggling. Now is the time to start thinking about this.
On the Podcast…
In this episode I talked to Jay Fulton, a Chaplain at the University of Kentucky. Jay is a good friend and colleague and one of the brightest individuals I know. He offered some very helpful insights into the anxiety that all of us are feeling right now as we struggle to get our heads around the COVID-19 pandemic. He also offered some thoughts on our own mortality, which many of us are thinking about for the first time in our careers. I really think you will enjoy the episode and find it useful as we all navigate the unknowns of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are already planning future episodes on topics that include traumatic stress (what our frontline healthcare workers are going through right now) and PTSD….what we are likely to be dealing with as we recover from this.
Another Medutopia Podcast on COVID-19: There is No Emergency in a Pandemic
Here are two blog posts that are must reads:
On the next Medutopia Podcast
I will be talking to Chris Doty, M.D., a friend, colleague, and wellness expert about PTSD and what we should all know to take good care of each other.
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