Healthcare professionals are left alone and unsupported

Despite many years of education and training, most healthcare professionals were unprepared for this pandemic. When we think of doctors and nurses, we assume that they are used to dealing with illness and death on a daily basis. We are right in a way; they are indeed experiencing the fine line between life and death every day but maybe they are not so used to it, at least not something of these proportions. Our study conducted in Cyprus looked at the psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare professionals. It will come as no surprise that more than 60% of them experienced some levels of anxiety, depression, and occupational burnout and used avoidance coping to deal with the increased demands. Subsequently, this had a toll on their quality of life. What is interesting though is that lack of workplace preparation played a greater role in their psychological health rather than whether they are working in the front line or not. Talking to these healthcare professionals, it became clear that they were hesitant to ask for support even though it was readily available through a dedicated hotline. The study identified several challenges and the urgent need to answer the following questions:

1. How do we encourage our front line workers to seek psychological support when they need it? Perhaps we are missing something – Do they even recognise that they need help in the first place? What if we educate them to recognise the signs before they become a real problem and seek timely support?

2. Why not provide them with the tools they need to deal with similar health crises before they even need to, especially during training?




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