By Kellie Hale
COVID-19 cases have not gone down, unfortunately, and continues to rise across the nation. Hospitals are continuing to be overwhelmed with patients. Our frontline health care workers are continuing to experience multiple stressors with little relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a constant fear amongst health care workers and facilities of running out of ventilators and necessary sup- plies. It is not only physical risks of COVID-19 that health care workers have to worry about but mental ones. With COVID-19 patients deteriorating, families could not be by loved one’s bedside, and it fell upon nurses and nursing assistants to help provide emotional support. Often forgoing breaks to stay by the patient’s side and hold their hand as they took their last breath. That is a significant toll for anyone to take on.
When stress is left untreated, it can lead to mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, and thoughts of suicide can arise or self-harm. Health care workers and caregivers are vital to the global response to the pandemic. However, they are often overlooked as a highly vulnerable population when it comes to getting infected with the virus.