Healing the Healers

Central Florida Doctor|July 2020

Healing the Healers
Avoiding Burnout in Times of COVID-19
MATT COBBLE

AS THE BATTLE with the novel coronavirus (designated COVID-19) moves into the summer, physicians must consider the toll being taken by this elongated campaign. While physician burnout was an area of great concern before the pandemic, it’s certainly been exacerbated by four months of unprecedented conditions.

Now, medical professionals are at an increasingly greater risk. The increased need for services means more doctors and nurses are working longer hours and more days per week. Combined with this is the elevated risk care providers are taking, some working with limited personal protective equipment (PPE), seeing colleagues become sick, and worrying about contracting this virus themselves and putting their families at risk.

Not to mention the fact that Florida, among other states, is seeing an upswing in coronavirus cases. Hardest hit areas are Miami-Dade county and Central Florida, especially in Hillsborough and Orange counties. Both Tampa and Orlando have issued mandatory face mask requirements in public, joining most of Florida’s larger cities. Although Polk county’s numbers have also risen in recent weeks, no such move has been made as of yet.

Naturally, a professional who is burnt out is not working to his or her best capacity, so the importance of making time for self-care, even in the midst of overwhelming circumstances, cannot be overstated.

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July 2020