Published on April 25, 2020

AHMEDABAD: They are the frontline workers and see the ever-rising numbers of Covid-19 patients before their eyes. The doctors and paramedical staff are not devoid of stress induced by the pandemic, say city-based experts.

The Government Hospital for Mental Health (HMH) recently carried out a session for healthcare workers across the state to address their issues and also provide a suggestion or two. It was third in the series for the different stakeholders ranging from Covid-19 patients, their relatives and doctors.
Experts pointed out that the most common complaints are sleeplessness and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in form of excessive hand wash or expecting strictest hygiene protocols from those around them fearing that they could contact it.

“The health workers often work in seven-day shifts. Next seven days are spent in isolation so that they don’t infect their family members. For many, it’s also a stress-inducing factor, especially in set-ups where a few of their colleagues have been reported positive,” said an official.

In one of the instances, a doctor had taken up to smoking excessively as a side-effect of the stress felt at workplace. Counselling by the experts yielded result as the number of cigarettes went down by 80%, added an official.

“They see the patients coming by scores, everyone anxious from what they have heard about the disease and working under completely new set of rules such as wearing PPEs which are not easy to wear for longer hours,” said a city-based psychiatrist. “But on a positive note, the majority of the doctors are determined to give their best in this unprecedented health crisis. We are sure that after a few weeks, many of these conditions could be new normal.”

The experts said that akin to the advice to patients, they also encourage the medical professionals to engage in light exercise, keep positive outlook and talk about what they feel to their friends, colleagues and family members.

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