As the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of focus has been on the health risks to healthcare workers due to the infectiousness of the virus and the insufficient amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) available.
However, another health risk to these providers that is just starting to get attention are the physical and mental health effects from their constant exposure to the trauma of this disaster. Even without a pandemic, our healthcare workers are already at higher risk of psychiatric disorders including: burnout and suicide. However, the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic raises additional concerns about the mental health outcomes for our front-line responders. One of the things we see in disasters is that first responders and healthcare workers jump into action and will often work past their limits. Their training kicks in, and they enter what we often refer to as “operational mode.”