The arrival of the pandemic caught everyone by surprise. We suddenly had to work and study from home. In addition, everybody had to wear masks and wash their hands but still felt unsafe due to the lack of information regarding Covid-19. A lot of people got sick, and even lost family and friends.
Sadly, healthcare workers also suffered greatly because of it. Not only did their already stressful job get more difficult, they also had to deal with increased health risks and bullying due to misinformation. But how exactly did the pandemic change healthcare? Let’s take a look.
Working in Healthcare is Now a High-Risk Occupation
Working as a doctor or nurse used to be a dream for many young Americans. The idea of making a living by directly improving people’s lives was considered a highly desired and respected choice. But since the arrival of Covid-19, the way people see working in healthcare has changed radically.
During the first year of the pandemic, when people didn’t have access to vaccines, America lost 3600 healthcare workers. Today, vaccines offer a significant level of protection but this doesn’t mean people working in hospitals feel safe. They still have to wear different layers of protective gear and attend to people going through a very contagious stage of the disease.
Harassment Against Healthcare Workers Increased
The first response from the media and the public to the pandemic was to recognize the efforts of healthcare workers, treating them as heroes. Then, a study by the University of Rochester found that they became victims of bullying because people saw them as potential carriers of Covid-19. Today, the dissemination of misinformation regarding the pandemic has grown so much that people who work in hospitals are harassed on a daily basis.
The issue has become so common that New York had to pass a bill setting up a board to monitor and respond to reports of harassment. Now, despite the fact that the worst phase of the pandemic seems to be over, anyone who works at a hospital fears for their safety every day.
The Development of Remote Medicine Technology has Accelerated
The pandemic kept hospitals overcrowded. Doctors and nurses had to receive patients and take their vital signs while calming their family members. Frequently, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, many patients didn’t make it and workers were also in charge of giving the news to their loved ones. Add the experience of knowing they could be next at any time and you have the formula for one of the most stressful occupations.
Since then, a technology designed to lighten the burden of healthcare workers has received a bit more attention. Companies like Boston Dynamics are accelerating the development of robots that allow doctors to remotely visit patients in the hospital, as well as to measure different vital signs. Some apps are now even capable of collecting data through wearable technology so that it can be used in virtual consultations.
Attitudes Towards Telehealth Have Changed
At the beginning of the pandemic, the need to stay at home forced a lot of people to learn how to work and study remotely. This trend was followed by healthcare providers, who started to offer online information and remote consultations. But there were other reasons for this increase in telehealth demand.
Because of issues like health risks, stress, and harassment, health care workers are now understandably looking for alternative ways to offer their services. As a result, there’s now a growing pool of remote work for nurse practitioners in New York as well as in other parts of the country. This allows healthcare workers to enjoy more flexible schedules, and reduce work-related stress.
The pandemic had terrible consequences for humanity. People all around the world suffered stress, got sick, and lost loved ones. One of the groups that was hit the hardest was, sadly, healthcare workers. But with the progress made in telehealth technology, they can now be protected from different health risk issues, harassment, and stress.