COVID-19: Mental health of professionals who daily see death in the eyes

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Stress is a cause of concern for health professionals. It has been associated with anxiety, depression due to the coexistence of innumerable deaths, long work shifts with the most diverse unknowns and demands in the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Without a doubt, health workers are subject to significant mental exhaustion.

The fact that COVID-19 is human-to-human transmissible and associated with high morbidity and potentially fatality may intensify the perception of personal danger. Furthermore, the foreseeable shortage of supplies and an increasing flow of suspicious and real cases of COVID-19 contribute to the pressures and concerns of health professionals.

The new figures show a "huge" level of contagion among medical personnel. Doctors in the intensive care unit are at their stress limit, especially when dealing with older patients and prospects for death. Doctors, not a relative, are inevitably the last people a dying COVID-19 patient will see.

The new coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve, with more cases and quarantines. The closer you get to your homes, the more people worry. But what about the people up front? Nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, and other medical professionals who test and treat patients with COVID-19 are at greater risk of contracting it than the general public. As if exposure to COVID-19 during the global pandemic was not enough, health workers face yet another risk: exhaustion due to overexertion in an increasingly burdened health system. The combination of stress and possible exposure puts health professionals, from doctors and nurses to specialists, at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and potentially passing it on to others (Health Care Finance, 2020).

Given this critical situation, health professionals directly involved in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with COVID-19 develop the insertion of psychic spaces for the installation of psychological pain and suffering and other mental health symptoms. The increasing number of confirmed and suspected cases, the overwhelming workload, the exhaustion of personal protective equipment, wide media coverage, the lack of specific medications and inadequate support feelings can contribute to the mental burden of these professionals. of health (State Council of China, 2020, Lai et al., 2020, Lee et al., 2007).

The new coronavirus generates a lot of uncertainty, and this has resulted with healthcare professionals who suffer or have suffered from anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in the treatment of patients in hospitals. Panic attacks have also been a response to the stress load linked to demands for outbreaks of coronavirus.

Despite the common mental health problems and disorders found among health professionals in such settings, the majority of those working in isolation units and hospitals are not trained to provide mental health care. The evidence highlights some timely mental health care that must be developed urgently, such as: use of psychotropic medications, prescribed by psychiatrists for severe psychiatric comorbidities; specialized psychiatric treatments and appropriate mental health services and facilities for patients with comorbid mental disorders; psychic treatment plans, regular updates to address your feeling of uncertainty and fear; psychological counseling using psychotherapy devices and techniques.

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