Recent studies have found that first responders and healthcare workers are displaying symptoms of PTSD that are similar to veterans who have served in combat.
Researchers and healthcare providers believe that if administrators fail to find ways to offer relief to medical staff and hospitals that continue to be overwhelmed with COVID patients, many healthcare workers will leave areas where they care for coronavirus patients or leave the healthcare sector completely. This would further strain the capacity of hospitals to offer necessary care while staffing shortages increase.
Dr. Rebecca Hendrickson, a VA Puget Health Care System clinical psychiatrist, stated that thinking of and taking care of healthcare workers was important not only because they mattered as people but also because their mental health has considerable implications for the healthcare system. Hendrickson, who’s leading a new study on healthcare workers, noted that protecting the healthcare system wouldn’t be possible without protecting its workers.
A survey conducted last year found that since February 2020, 30% of healthcare workers in America had quit or lost their jobs, the most common reason being the pandemic. Findings from a separate study that was published in December which surveyed more than 500 first responders, nurses and doctors discovered that 15% stated that they would likely not work in the field in the next decade. This figure was slightly higher — 20% — for nurses specifically.
Researchers believe that this is mainly due to the deterioration of the mental health of healthcare providers, with 74% of those who took part in the survey reporting symptoms of depression. Another 15% reported thoughts of self-harm or suicide while another 37% reported post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Hendrickson noted that a huge contributor to the distress of healthcare providers was the coronavirus pandemic’s duration. At the start of the pandemic, there was a limited quantity of personal protective equipment and vaccines weren’t available, which left workers with a real risk of becoming ill, yet they still continued to provide care to patients. Now, even with more than one-half of hospital workers being vaccinated, these providers are still treating coronavirus patients who are seriously ill, many because they haven’t been vaccinated.
Hendrickson explained that the risk level reducing because of vaccinations and the omicron variant being less severe than other coronavirus variants was a relief to most healthcare providers. However, being asked to continue taking a risk, even when it didn’t feel necessary, caused a lot of distress and made it even harder to handle.
With cases of mental health conditions increasing at a high rate, especially in the wake of the pandemic, there is an urgent need for the novel medicines being developed by companies such as Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) because these new therapeutics promise to disrupt mental health care as we know it.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MYCOF
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