Healthcare Providers Showing Signs of Burnout, PTSD

May 18, 2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.

Not only are health care workers making life or death decisions for their patients, some of them are making those same decisions for themselves when going to work every day.

Recent studies show a significant percentage of frontline health care workers are exhibiting signs of burnout and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Licensed Professional Counselor Leigh Richardson is the founder of the Dallas-based Brain Performance Center. She is working with local health care professionals who have been stretched to the limit in treating the coronavirus.  Richardson talked with KRLD's Chris Sommer.

“Our health care professionals are seeing incredibly sick people in what is really a tidal wave washing over them, and they are leaning into that work because it’s what we do,” says  Colin West in an article in Scientific American. West is an internist who has studied physician well-being at the Mayo Clinic for more than 15 years. West says that leaning into extreme uncertainty for weeks and months on end could have significant impacts on their mental well-being.

"Psychological trauma often relies on a person’s subjective experience of an event, and to what extent they believe their life, bodily integrity, or psychological well-being was threatened," writes Elyssa Barbash for Psychology Today.

Barbash is a Licensed Psychologist. She is a leading authority on psychological trauma and a PTSD Licensed Psychologist.

Barbash says that people who experience trauma may react with intense fear, horror, numbness, or helplessness. Reactions to trauma vary greatly, from a mild reaction with only minimal interruptions in one’s daily life to reactions that are more severe and debilitating.

"As a trauma specialist, it is exceedingly clear to me just how traumatic this situation is for nearly every single person in the world," says Barbash.

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