Healthcare workers on the frontline of COVID-19 have been reminded not to neglect themselves as they care for others.
This advice has come from Consultant Psychiatrist at the Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Joy Sue, during an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service.
Dr. Sue said healthcare workers usually “put a lot of energy into making their clients well” and in doing so they may form bonds with patients. Frontline workers may also feel overwhelmed from time to time, given the demands of their jobs.
“It is easy to neglect your own self-care when so much of your time is dedicated to caring for others, but this is even more important for frontline workers. Self-care activities should be an ongoing process,” she said, while recommending relaxation, art and craft, exercising, and spending time with loved ones.
The psychiatrist also noted that those caring for persons infected with COVID-19 may find themselves providing emotional support to clients and their families.
This usually happens with impending deaths or when patients take a turn for the worse. While healthcare professionals may be used to this, it becomes more challenging with COVID-19 patients since they cannot receive visitors. This is due to the contagious nature of the illness.
Dr. Sue stressed it was important that healthcare professionals remember that their purpose is not only to cure illness, but to provide comfort as well.