Connect with us

Coronavirus Outbreak

Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in health workers

Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Highlights
  • Suicide rate of doctors was more than double that of others: Experts
  • Workers say they don’t have to pay for treatment, medication: Experts
  • Nothing wrong with feeling this way, but you have to deal with it: Expert

Nurse Chris Prott’s knees jump, his heart races, his mouth goes dry and his mind floods with dark memories when he talks about working in the Milwaukee VA Medical Center’s intensive care unit (ICU) during pandemic surges. Nurse Prott shares a struggle common to many of the military veterans for whom he has cared for years: symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Also Read: Vaccination On Wheels To Inoculate Labourers Against COVID-19 In Delhi

Nurse Prott was among a half dozen ICU staffers who told Reuters of symptoms such as waking from nightmares bathed in sweat; flashbacks to dying patients during the pandemic’s fear-filled early days; flaring anger; and panic at the sound of medical alarms. Those whose symptoms last longer than one month and are severe enough to interfere with daily life can be diagnosed with PTSD.

The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study PTSD in health workers. Data already showed that U.S. health workers were in crisis before COVID-19.

While PTSD is associated with combat, it can arise among civilians after natural disasters, abuse or other trauma. Health workers can be reluctant to equate their experience with that of returning soldiers.

“I feel like a schmuck calling it PTSD,” Prott said.

It took me a long time to be able to talk to somebody because I see guys with real PTSD. What I’ve got going on, it’s nothing in comparison, so you feel guilty for thinking that.

Psychiatrist Dr. Bessel van der Kolk knows better.

Also Read: UN: Brief Gains In Air Quality In 2020 Over COVID Lockdowns

“On the surface, a nurse at your local hospital will not look like a guy coming back from Afghanistan,” said the author of “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.” “But underneath it all, we have these core neurobiology-determined functions that are the same.”

Pre-pandemic studies showed that rates of PTSD in front-line health workers varied from 10 per cent to 50 per cent. The suicide rate among doctors was more than twice that of the general public.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has tapped a military psychologist and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Center for PTSD to help it measure the pandemic’s impact.

Texas Tech University Health Science Center psychiatry resident Dr. Huseyin Bayazit and researchers in his native Turkey surveyed 1,833 Turkish health workers last autumn. The results, presented in May at an American Psychiatric Association meeting, showed a PTSD rate of 49.5 per cent among nonphysicians and 36 per cent for doctors. Rates of suicidal thoughts increased as workers spent more time on COVID-19 units.

Unions want to mitigate trauma by setting national rules for the number of patients under each nurse’s care. Workers say they should not have to pay for therapy, medication, and other interventions.

The AMA and other groups want more confidentiality for doctors who seek mental health services. Most ICU staff who discussed PTSD with Reuters requested anonymity for fear of repercussions at work.

New York’s Mount Sinai Health System and Chicago’s Rush University System for Health provide free, confidential mental health services.

Mount Sinai’s new Center for Stress, Resilience, and Personal Growth offers a military-inspired “Battle Buddies” peer-support program for nurses. A  chaplain  from Rush’s “Road Home” program for veterans runs a “post-traumatic growth” bereavement support group for ICU nurses.

The VA system provides no-cost, short-term mental health counseling through its employee assistance program. Many local VA facilities supplement those with spiritual counseling and crisis incident response teams, a spokesperson said.

About 5,000 U.S. physicians quit every two years due to burnout, said Dr. Christine Sinsky, an AMA vice president. The annual cost is about $4.6 billion – including lost revenue from vacancies and recruitment expenses, she said.

Hospital survey results in March led the Department of Health and Human Services to warn “staffing shortages have affected patient care, and that exhaustion and trauma have taken a toll on staff’s mental health.”

Trauma surgeon Dr. Kari Jerge volunteered to work in a Phoenix COVID-19 ward during last winter’s surge. She turned down substantially more pay to return to the ICU after the Delta variant surge.

Jerge encourages others to prioritize “self-preservation,” but worries about the loss of expertise. “There is infinite value in a nurse who’s been working in the ICU for 20 years and just has a gut feeling when something’s going wrong with a patient,” she said.

Nurse Pascaline Muhindura, 40, who cares for COVID-19 patients in Kansas City, Missouri, has advocated for health worker safety since losing a co-worker to the disease early in the pandemic.

“It keeps getting worse and worse. We are heading back to that place – that woke up those emotions again,” said Muhindura, who added that many employers do not offer adequate insurance coverage for therapy.

An ICU fosters the kind of camaraderie forged in battle. A group of Southern California COVID-19 nurses got matching tattoos. Health workers commiserate over crying their way home after tough shifts, support each other on social media, and push colleagues to seek help.

“There is nothing wrong with feeling this way,” said VA nurse Prott. “You have to deal with it though.”

Also Read: Genome Sequencing By Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium Progressively Increased: Centre

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,78,24,983Cases
22,84,48,447Active
3,40,97,388Recovered
52,79,148Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,78,24,983 and 52,79,148 have died; 22,84,48,447 are active cases and 3,40,97,388 have recovered as on December 9, 2021 at 3:47 am.

India

3,46,66,241 9,419Cases
94,742 1,009Active
3,40,97,388 8,251Recovered
4,74,111 159Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,66,241 confirmed cases including 4,74,111 deaths. The number of active cases is 94,742 and 3,40,97,388 have recovered as on December 9, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,40,888 893

9,964 157

64,89,720 1,040

1,41,204 10

Kerala

51,78,892 5,038

41,615 887

50,95,263 4,039

42,014 112

Karnataka

29,99,098 399

7,284 155

29,53,565 238

38,249 6

Tamil Nadu

27,32,648 703

7,946 36

26,88,142 728

36,560 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,74,217 181

2,011 3

20,57,749 176

14,457 2

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,502 10

139 7

16,87,452 3

22,911

West Bengal

16,20,803 574

7,576 0

15,93,659 568

19,568 6

Delhi

14,41,514 65

404 28

14,16,010 36

25,100 1

Odisha

10,50,760 255

1,931 11

10,40,403 264

8,426 2

Chhattisgarh

10,07,075 37

341 9

9,93,140 27

13,594 1

Rajasthan

9,54,984 40

236 16

9,45,792 24

8,956

Gujarat

8,27,873 67

417 45

8,17,361 22

10,095

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,288 14

140 1

7,82,619 13

10,529

Haryana

7,71,904 29

223 15

7,61,626 14

10,055

Bihar

7,26,259 9

36 6

7,14,133 3

12,090

Telangana

6,77,546 205

3,871 19

6,69,673 185

4,002 1

Assam

6,18,042 134

2,541 24

6,09,374 158

6,127

Punjab

6,03,578 22

350 0

5,86,614 20

16,614 2

Jharkhand

3,49,383 16

129 7

3,44,113 23

5,141

Uttarakhand

3,44,402 17

192 3

3,36,799 14

7,411

Jammu And Kashmir

3,38,198 151

1,639 38

3,32,070 111

4,489 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,753 69

722 14

2,23,174 81

3,857 2

Goa

1,79,307 65

441 37

1,75,478 28

3,388

Mizoram

1,37,377 320

3,049 10

1,33,819 309

509 1

Puducherry

1,29,128 23

230 1

1,27,022 22

1,876

Manipur

1,25,429 23

325 5

1,23,119 28

1,985

Tripura

84,888 14

94 11

83,968 3

826

Meghalaya

84,631 12

240 11

82,916 23

1,475

Chandigarh

65,515 7

67 2

64,628 5

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,298 3

29 2

54,989 5

280

Sikkim

32,390 8

200 2

31,785 6

405

Nagaland

32,143 1

116 2

31,328 3

699

Ladakh

21,749 14

230 17

21,304 31

215

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 0

10,679

4

Lakshadweep

10,405

11 0

10,343

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,691 1

3 0

7,559 1

129

Coronavirus Outbreak: Full CoverageTesting CentresFAQs
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Highlights From The 12-Hour Telethon

Leaving No One Behind

Mental Health

Environment

Join Us