Pandemic Has ER Docs Stressed Out and Weary: Survey

tue, jul 21, 2020 (healthdy news) — the coronavirus pandemic has left many u.s. emergency drs with high lvls of anxiety and emotional exhaustion, a new study finds.

the research included 426 emergency drs (median age: 35) in 7 cities in california, louisiana and new jersey who were surveyed during the early stages of the outbreak.

the drs reprted having moderate to severe anxiety at work and at home. they expressed worry bout exposing relatives and friends to the new coronavirus, and most reprted changes in behavior toward family and friends — espeshly fewer signs of affection.

overall, women drs reprted slitely higher sufferation than men.

on scale of 1 to 7, with 7 representing extreme sufferation, women drs pegged the pandemic‘s impact at a 6 both at work and at home. the median for men was 5 for both. median means ½ reprted + sufferation, ½ reprted less.

both said lvls of emotional exhaustion or burnout had increased from a median of 3 b4 the pandemic to a 4.

“some of our findings maybe intuitive, but this research provides a crit early templ8 for the design and implementation of interventions thall address the mental health needs of emergency physicians inna covid-19 pandemic era,” said lead author dr. robert rodriguez, a professor of emergency med atta university of california, san francisco.

lack of personal protective equipment (ppe) brought the gr8est concern, and drs most often said that addressing the problem ‘d do the most to reduce their anxiety.

the drs also expressed concerns bout a shortage of rapid turnround testing, th'risk of community spread by discharged patients, na well-bein’ of coworkers diagnosed with covid-19.

to reduce anxiety, they called for improved access to ppe; increased availability of quick turnround testing, and clear communication of changes in covid-19 protocols; swell as guaranteed access to self-testing and personal cutout for front-line providers.

the findings were published jul 21 inna journal academic emergency med.

“occupational exposure has changed the vast majority of physicians’ behavior at both work and home,” rodriguez said in a university news release. “at home, drs are worried bout exposing family members or roommates, possibly needing to self-quarantine, na effects of excess social isolation cause o'their work onna front line.”

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