Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant source of stress and anxiety for everyone, especially healthcare workers and patients. The added strain and worry created by the current situation has had serious impacts on doctors, nurses, and other professionals. According to a recent study, more than 70% of medical workers have reported feeling mental distress due to the pandemic. Another survey found that nearly half of Americans feel nervous about the possibility that they or someone they love will contract the disease.
During these exceptionally tense times, it is more important than ever to develop coping strategies for managing anxiety, particularly for those on the medical profession’s front lines. This is critical not only for their well-being but for the people they serve. When healthcare workers know how to manage stress, they can deliver better results and help patients remain calm.
For example, doctors, nurses, and orderlies can begin each session with a patient by previewing what will happen during the appointment and explaining the processes. Any changes to a treatment plan or schedule should be handled honestly and as soon as possible. Additionally, using clear, concise language that the patient will understand can go a long way to relieving any nerves or discomfort. Another helpful technique is to distract people from their issues by talking about their personal interests. Professionals also can help ease troubled minds by creating a more relaxing environment with natural light, warm colors, and soothing music.
Of course, it may be difficult for a patient to de-stress if the person treating them is also suffering from anxiety. The weight of caring for so many people, often in life-or-death scenarios, can be a heavy burden — even without the added concerns of a once-in-a-lifetime healthcare crisis. This is why it is so important for caregivers to pay attention to their mental health. Whether they practice mindfulness techniques such as mediation, talk to friends and family about their feelings; or make changes to lead healthier lives, there are plenty of self-care strategies that can be put to good use.
These are challenging times, and perhaps no one is feeling the effects more than healthcare workers. If you are a medical professional looking for some ways to care for your patients and yourself more effectively, check out the accompanying resource by Specialdocs.
Specialdocs, a concierge medical group, created this infographic.