Seven out of 10 health workers ‘on verge of nervous breakdown’

More than 70% of health professionals are showing medium to high levels of emotional exhaustion and burnout attributed to their workloads during pandemic.

This is one of a dismal litany of conclusions from the latest ‘Occupational Health Barometer’ published by the national school of public health (ENSP).

Explain reports, this is the 3rd questionnaire directed at health professionals since the start of Covid-19 and shows “an increase in the already high levels (of stress) reported by these groups of professionals” in earlier studies.

Almost four out of every 10 people quizzed ‘complained of the inexistence of an occupational health service at their place of work’. This has led investigators to suggest there should be “profound reflection” on the way the health of professionals ‘who protect the health of everyone else’ is dealt with in future.

Quite apart from physical symptoms, there are the psychological consequences that need to be considered: almost three-quarters of those who answered the latest questionnaire showed “galloping anxiety”, reports Rádio Renascença, if not “moderate to elevated signs of depression”.

The study highlighted the lifestyles of these professionals: low on sleep, low on exercise, heavy on fatigue: 42.6% slept less than six hours, while 58% admitted to feeling close to a breakdown.

Adding to the woes, 33% said they didn’t bother with ‘self-monitoring’ to ensure they kept the risk of contagion to a minimum. Indeed 15.3% of those questioned did in fact at some time during the pandemic test positive for Covid-19.

A positive aspect is that no one complained of inadequate PPE. Indeed 77.8% reported PPE as adequate or ‘very adequate’.

But the rest raises huge issues for concern. This was the last questionnaire scheduled to be directed at health professionals during the pandemic, adds RR.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com