Healthcare workers suffer severe psychosocial impact in Covid-19 times

Healthcare workers who had to adapt to new protocols and adjust to the situations brought forth by the pandemic have been subjected to severe psychosocial impact, finds ICMR study

The study findings point to the challenges at the organisational level which is reflected in the major changes in the working culture of HCWs who were ill-prepared for this change

Though the Covid-19 pandemic has brought in what many people call the ‘new normal’, healthcare workers may not be very keen on terming their new complex lifestyle so. It is more than just normal for them, considering the day-to-day hassles they encounter.

Tough has been the lives of healthcare workers across India ever since the coronavirus made its advent. New standards have been ushered in in the healthcare arena, but the workers in the domain have been subjected to immense pressure.

Healthcare workers reel under pandemic pressure

An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, has pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought out the different expressions of the stigma that healthcare workers face with experiences of verbal and physical abuse, reported to a large extent on social and print media.

Healthcare workers who had to adapt to new protocols and adjust to the situations brought forth by the pandemic have been subjected to severe psychosocial impact. This situation has come about due to the increase in work, the intensity of their activities, manifestations of stigma and additional responsibilities of being essential players in the Covid frontline.

The study has revealed that doctors and nurses were even made to vacate from their premises over manifestations of stigma. Several cases of physical violence on the healthcare workers have also been reported. All these have resulted in adding to their troubles, by heaping on them depression and sleep-related issues. Continued working hours and erratic timings resulted in deprivation of sleep and unhealthy eating patterns, the study found out.

A large number of healthcare workers stay away from kin

A large number of healthcare workers continue to stay away from their families. This has affected them, as also their kin. As Covid-19 protocols continue, many fear going home as they do not want to risk infecting their families.

The ICMR study, was done among 967 participants across 10 cities from across India. The cities included Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Noida, South Delhi, Pathanamthitta, Kasaragod, Chennai, Jabalpur, Kamrup, and East Khasi Hills.

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