‘Take care.’ How often have you used this expression? The coronavirus pandemic has created such unprecedented circumstances affecting everything and everyone, so much so that suddenly, this common expression started having a much deeper meaning.
As the virus continues to spread, much has changed, including how we provide nursing and caregiving to others during these troubling times. Many nurses and caregivers took superhuman steps to take care and give care during the global pandemic, often caring less for themselves and more for others – strangers, loved ones, and community members. Nurses and caregivers were forced to work in horrible conditions, understaffed, underslept, isolated from their families, and so much more, and through it all, they kept showing up.
Health workers’ challenges during the pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, some had just started their careers, while others had been veterans in their field of work. Nevertheless, they risked their very lives to stand by their patients through fear, pain, hope, and heartbreak. They dealt with their fears and anxieties, jumped in on numerous job duties, often working without the personal protective equipment, all the while holding out hope and praying that each one of their patients would survive.
On top of all, nurses and caregivers had to play an additional role of emotional support to their patients and their families alike. In many cases, they had the difficult task of helping families say goodbye to their loved ones by phone or video call. The emotional toll they had to endure was tremendous and poignant.
Such challenging conditions with numerous difficulties, new ways of working, and unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic have created a perfect storm that has gravely impacted nurses’ and caregivers’ emotional and psychological well-being. In fact, in this current pandemic environment, recent research has shown that nurses are substantially more affected than physicians by stress, anxiety, and depression. This is mostly because nurses and caregivers spend the most time with patients. They also disproportionately experienced any changes in protocols and procedures, heavy workload, shortage of PPE, and extended shifts. Not to mention the fear of getting infected.
Improvements in the healthcare system since COVID
But despite all of this, the pandemic has spurred changes in the healthcare and their work environment, which nurses and caregivers welcomed with open arms. The result was a new environment of innovation and collaboration, where the free flow of ideas was wanted and prized.
This brave and caring community of people has been asked to do the unimaginable. They have pushed their bodies and minds to the limit to save lives and have supported patients and their families when sustaining life was impossible. For this reason, and so much more, we are happy to see them as one of the World Happiness Awards 2022 laureates.
With our World Happiness Community Award, we are recognizing an institution, organization, or group of individuals making a profoundly positive impact in their community. We believe this is a community of people worth being praised. Join us in our celebration of people and communities, making this planet a better place for all!