After the surge, the psychological impact of Covid-19 is hitting home

Having dealt with the months-long terror of crammed ICUs, unavailable PPE and the fear of getting infected, the coronavirus crisis is taking its toll on healthcare workers' mental health. 

 

 

After 15 years as an emergency doctor, Anand Swaminathan was familiar with the traumatic experiences that came along with his job – treating victims of shootings, stabbings and terrible incidents of domestic violence. But it was the relentless, months-long influx of patients during the Covid-19 pandemic that made him seek therapy for the first time.

 

 

“It was very difficult [on] every shift seeing that the patient you took care of the day before is still in the emergency department but is worse today than they were yesterday. The next day, they're a little worse. And then the next day, they're on [their] deathbed,” says Swaminathan who is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at St. Joseph's Hospital in New Jersey. With no proven drugs to prevent or treat Covid-19, mechanical ventilators were the last resort to pump oxygen into patients whose lungs were failing.

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Keywords: 
Americans, Anxiety Symptoms, COVID-19 (en), Crisis Intervention, Emotional States, Guilt, Hospitals, Medical Personnel, Mental health, Moral Injury (eng), Nurses, Paramedical Personnel, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychosocial impact, Psychosocial support, Psychotrauma, PTSD (en), Research, Shame, Stressors, Traumatic events