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Thursday, March 3, 2022

Pandemic Mentally Hurts Many Healthcare Workers, but Help is Available

Although COVID-19 cases are dropping in the country and advances in technology are making regular patient consultations possible, many local healthcare professionals still find working under pandemic conditions overwhelming.

Teleconsultations that last until late evening and being away from loved ones for extended periods are just some of the issues that continue to drain them to this point.

The webinar "Kumusta Dok — The Afterlife: Emerging After COVID" has provided healthcare professionals a way to identify and manage symptoms of burnout and achieve that balance of taking care of their patients and their well-being.


"Going through stressful life experiences can be unhealthy because this could lead to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, which we have commonly seen since the pandemic started," webinar speaker Dr. Robert Buenaventura said.

"If you show symptoms of burnout, it's a good idea to see a mental health professional. You have to realize that help is available."

Dr. Buenaventura is the head of the Department of Neurosciences at Manila Theological College and associate professor in human life span and psychiatry at La Consolacion University Philippines.




Kumusta Dok is an initiative that aims to empower patients to reconnect with their doctors during the new normal. The Kumusta Dok initiative also gives tips and updates on the channels available for patients to strengthen partnerships with doctors throughout the health-seeking journey. It shares efforts being made by healthcare facilities to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare staff while delivering appropriate care. It likewise partners with medical societies to create educational and wellness platforms for healthcare professionals as we live through this pandemic.

Based on a study, conducted during the height of the pandemic, out of 516 healthcare workers in the Philippines, 70.7% have anxiety symptoms. The study revealed that the pandemic had a psychological impact on the majority of healthcare workers.



According to Dr. Buenaventura, red flags to watch out for indicating too much stress or a mental health condition include a change in moods, memory, and behavior, as well as lower productivity and frequent absenteeism. Those who suffer mental burnout also have a tendency to withdraw from social connections and ignore personal self-care and hygiene.

To manage these symptoms and get a proper diagnosis or treatment plan, Dr. Buenaventura suggests seeking the help of a mental health professional who can be reached via teleconsultation or in-person visits. Another way to contact a mental health professional or a trained counselor is via anonymous, 24/7 hotlines.






"Consultations don't necessarily have to be about a mental disorder,” Dr. Buenaventura added. "It can just be about the stress that can be managed by other means. But you need to identify and accept that the problem exists because that is the first step to doing something about it."

Those who are not receptive to meeting a mental health professional can instead engage in doing stress management techniques to cope with burnout symptoms. Their options include exercise, adopting a healthy diet, or getting enough sleep.

They can also try other therapeutic maneuvers such as meditation or mindfulness, correcting negative thoughts, or progressive muscle relaxation.


"Self-care is very crucial because it's an integral part of professional fulfillment," Dr. Buenaventura said.

If you’re a healthcare worker and showing symptoms of anxiety and burnout, take the necessary steps to get help. Consider taking a break or talking to a trusted friend or a professional.


Reference: Marzo, Roy Rillera et al. Risk perception, mental health impacts and coping strategies during COVID-19 pandemic among Filipino healthcare workers. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34911287/

11 comments:

  1. Mental health is sadly neglected although it's one of the vital things for human to function. Although help is availableavailable— the stigma, the shame, invalidationinvalidation and the under privileged are the crucial issues. I think to have a strong support system is important and to take a break and to not always be hard on yourself.
    — Kin

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  2. @kamusta doc
    this blog is informative and talks about such things as mental health and how do we take care of it in the heights of the pandemic, not everyone can go out so their is a lot of ways to reconnect with yourself and with people that you are close with. Self care is a must because our body does things that makes us move in our everyday lives

    -Gillean

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  3. kamusta doc,
    Thankyou for this, it is very helpful for people who are having a mental breakdowns and for the people who have it please don't be scared to rest. We're not in a rush❤️ -Ryonna

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  4. Noon: "Kamusta, patient? Do you feel any pain?"
    Ngayon: "Kamusta, Dok? I feel so much pain. Help."

    Nowadays, we must reach out first and not be ashamed that we are anxious, depressed or simply not okay mentally. Our feelings are valid and our minds can get sick too. Normalize seeking help 💜💜💜 ---- Reynald

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  5. Gianne InumerableMarch 4, 2022 at 10:27 PM

    Kamusta Dok has really provided us with a lot of wise words and advices! This can help me overcome the anxieties I am feeling right now. I hope everyone who reads this can feel a bit better with the situation they are in. There’s always a rainbow right after the rain. Hang in there. 🤝

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kamusta Dok has really provided us with a lot of wise words and advices! This can help me overcome the anxieties I am feeling right now. I hope everyone who reads this can feel a bit better with the situation they are in. There’s always a rainbow right after the rain. Hang in there. - Gianne Inumerable

    ReplyDelete
  7. I know some healthcare workers that are too tired physically because of the pandemic surge. Also, they are really stressed over so many things. Their mental health matters, they need rest and peace of mind. If we can ever listen to their rants, chikas and everything, it will help them a lot. They helped us a lot, we can pay it forward little by little 💗 ///////// Seng ^_____^

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  8. Nowadays, those who are serving us, called "Doc""Nurse", are also the ones who needs help, or the one we called "patients", and there's nothing wrong about that. They're not gods to save everyone and be strong at all times, neither slaves, they're just human beings. We call them our "heroes", but heroes also have something inside their head. Something like screaming from the pain they're feeling, but they just didn't show to us. They hide their wounds, just to serve us. Not just maybe, but it's the time we should the on helping them, even just by recommending them to read this. Let those nurses say "Kamusta Doc, magpapakonsulta po ako sa iyo, hindi po muna ako papasok sa aking trabaho sa iyo". Let those frontliners get help.
    Let them be human, count them as human. Remember, heroes also need rest. And also to our dear frontliners, as Dr. Buenaventura said that is stated in this article "Self-care is very crucial because it's an integral part of fulfillment".

    -Macy❣️

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nowadays, those who are serving us, called "Doc""Nurse", are also the ones who needs help, or the one we called "patients", and there's nothing wrong about that. They're not gods to save everyone and be strong at all times, neither slaves, they're just human beings. We call them our "heroes", but heroes also have something inside their head. Something like screaming from the pain they're feeling, but they just didn't show to us. They hide their wounds, just to serve us. Not just maybe, but it's the time we should the on helping them, even just by recommending them to read this. Let those nurses say "Kamusta Doc, magpapakonsulta po ako sa iyo, hindi po muna ako papasok sa aking trabaho sa iyo". Let those frontliners get help.
    Let them be human, count them as human. Remember, heroes also need rest. And also to our dear frontliners, as Dr. Buenaventura said that is stated in this article "Self-care is very crucial because it's an integral part of fulfillment".

    -Macy❣️

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nowadays, the one who is serving us, the one who we call "Dok" or "Nurse", are the ones who need help, the ones we called "patient", and there's completely nothing wrong with that. They're not gods who can save everyone and can be strong at all times, neither they are slaves, they're just human beings. Those we call "heroes" in our modern day world have also something in their mind. There's some scream in their mind because of the pain that they feel, but they are not showing it to us. They have wounds, but keep on serving us. They fight for the desire to serve the people, even the work is very sacrificial. Even so, they are just humans, who sometimes breakdown and cry. They are also stressed, depressed, have anxiety and burnout. They also need help just like us. And so, don't disregard this feelings, even just a stress that can be managed in other means. So, all of us, not just maybe, but now is the time to help our frontliners, even just by recommending them to read this. Let those nurses say "Kamusta Dok, magpapakonsulta po ako sa iyo, hindi po muna ako papasok sa aking trabaho". Let those frontliners get help. And not just our frontliners, but also to every people who needs help. Remember, heroes are also human. And to our dear frontliners, as Dr. Buenaventura said that is stated in this article, "Self-care is very crucial because it's an integral part of professional fulfillment". And also, to all who are struggling at this moment, remember that the devil's in your mind is not as powerful as God is in your heart❣️

    -Macy

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kumusta doc will surely give a great help for someone who's having a hard time in this time of pandemic. I'm saddened to hear that most of the people before chose not to consult to a doctor due to COVID-19 because they might get the virus when they go to the hospital. But because of the initiative like Kumusta doc it will be easy for them to connect with their doctor in the easiest way and fastest way.

    -Apreal Dela Cruz

    ReplyDelete