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Battling medical burnout

How health care workers need help during this crisis

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — How are health care workers coping with the stress of caring for COVID-19 patients day in and day out?

Dr. Lynette Charity is an anesthesiologist who writes and lectures about just this topic. She said now more than ever, someone needs to be helping the health care professionals.

"There's just that sense of why can't I help this person? Why is this person dying? All of those questions are going on, and it's leading a lot of these health care workers down that slippery slope, and as you know, recently just last month, there was one physician that I know of and actually an EMT in New York who died of suicide."

Dr. Charity said it is also key that doctors, nurses, and other health workers recognize the signs of being overworked and overstressed and take care of themselves by talking about their feelings with others and taking breaks when they need to.

"You cannot be on the top of your game if you haven't had any sleep if you haven't had any me time to just process what's going on," she said.

Dr. Charity said this pandemic has really brought the burnout problem to the forefront.

She hopes more is done to help the healers.

"We've never experienced this before and hopefully never again, but while we're within it, we have to develop new coping mechanisms so we can stay healthy and get out of this."

With so many shortages in the health care field and many working long hours, Dr. Charity said she knows the burnout is a tough thing to deal with, but she believes everyone should try.