\With the advent of telemedicine came several challenges not limited to IT security, patient-provider connection, and a host of technological issues. As the adoption of digital medical care is now relatively widespread, there is a new challenge facing telehealth – distraction. According to new survey data, approximately 44% of Americans engaged in a telehealth appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant proportion of those also reported multi-tasking or being distracted by other tasks during their visit.
In addition to the widespread socio-economic distress, civil unrest, and political destabilization, yet another wave of COVID-19 is weighing down the already overwhelming burden of the ongoing pandemic on public health. The viral outbreak has taken a tremendous toll on the global healthcare system and the physical wellbeing of millions across the globe. Yet further still, it has contributed to the festering of a mental health epidemic that will long outlast the pandemic environment. ”
An array of additional risk factors is compounding the mental health challenges facing the global population, ranging from unemployment and underemployment to increasing healthcare costs, childcare concerns, and mounting racial inequities. On top of this, mental healthcare services have become inaccessible to many individuals in the United States as COVID-19 restrictions shuttered facilities, suspended support groups, and moved many services to online platforms. The immense psychological burden has acute effects on public health, leading experts to forecast an impending “mental health tsunami” – one of the biggest post-pandemic issues facing the population in 2021 and the years to come.
The month of May honors National Nurses Month a time designated to recognize the incredible contributions nurses make to the field, particularly during the increased strain they have endured throughout the COVID-19 crisis. In early 2020, the pandemic turned nurses and other healthcare personnel into frontline responders, forcing them to contend with caring for COVID-19 patients, insufficient personal protective equipment, grueling work hours, and other factors contributing to exponentially rising rates of burnout.
Today, nurses and other healthcare professionals continue to grapple with the global pandemic and its repercussions on the healthcare system, one of which is the magnified visibility of institutional failures. Effects of such failures are widespread and include the tremendous burden placed on frontline nurses throughout the past year, severely impacting their mental and physical wellbeing. With endless reports of overwhelmed and exhausted practitioners flooding the news, supporting nurses and their fellow medical professionals has never been more important.