Healthcare professionals and hospital staff stress over COVID-19

Safety Stressors: Security guard Ayesha Noor, who works at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, talks over a remote call about the challenges she and her team at the hospital face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical professionals working on the frontline of the pandemic are under a lot of mental stress, especially while at work and around affected patients.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for every member of society, and perhaps no more than for those working in hospitals, clinics and dispensaries: nurses, security guards, cleaning staff, and doctors, to name a few.

“It was really, really hard for us,” said Ayesha Noor, a security guard at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

“It doesn’t matter if the patient has COVID-19 or any other disease, we have to respond and look after them and it was very hard [at the start].”

Many healthcare workers are under continuous stress, shows a study from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control at the Skane University Hospital in Lund, Sweden. They’re worried for their own health and safety, as well as their family members.

Doctors are still at risk of catching the virus from their patients, despite taking all of the necessary precautions. Even going so far as covering their body in 3 layers of protection before seeing a patient, and then changing that layering every time they switch patients.

“I really appreciate the efforts of frontline workers and especially the healthcare department,” said Gagan Pratap, who worked in a COVID-19 assessment centre in the city.

Increased mental stress and anxiety are reported as major side effects for healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19. Many of them fear that they are risking their health and safety, including that of their loved ones while working in the surroundings that they do.

It doesn’t matter if the patient has COVID-19 or any other disease, we have to respond and look after them and it was very hard [at the start] – Ayesha Noor

But Felicity Milien, a nurse at the Peter Lougheed Centre, says it’s their passion and love for the profession that does not allow them to simply sit at home and watch the situation play out, despite any fears they may have.

“It’s because before we [didn’t] know what exactly we were dealing with, and now we [do], so we are more relaxed now,” said Milien.

An early study from the onset of the pandemic shows that small precautions such as wearing a mask while in public, lots of hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, and the use of hand sanitizer, are all vital measures one can take against the transmission of COVID-19.

About Raghav Chanana 1 Article
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Raghav Chanana is working as a writer for The Press during the 2021 academic year.