Health Watch

How You Can Help Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, which causes the highly contagious disease COVID-19, are undoubtedly heroes of the pandemic.

They treat patients with COVID-19, sometimes without sufficient personal protective equipment, and the risk that they could catch the highly communicable disease is always present regardless of personal protective equipment. Not only are they anxious about the possibility of contracting COVID-19 themselves, they are worried they will spread it to non-infected patients they care for and possibly even to their family members.

These mental health impacts, according to Jessica Gold, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, include difficulty sleeping, crying more than normal and a fear of dying. She suggests mental health support need to be offered to healthcare workers now and in the future.

For those of us who want to help a healthcare worker in immediate ways, nurse.org offers 20 suggestions, including:

  • Give healthcare workers a shoutout on social media
  • Pay for the parking of healthcare providers
  • Arrange for food delivery to a healthcare facility
  • Help with a healthcare provider’s childcare or eldercare
  • Drop off groceries, essentials and supplies to a healthcare worker’s home
  • Donate on GoFundMe – one specific to our area is the St. Louis, MO nurses’ fund organized by the UMSL Student Nurses Association

No matter what you choose to do to support healthcare workers, keep in mind what their comfort level is in terms of social distancing and be sure to think about their efforts, sacrifices, and the risk that they take when supporting our community!

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