Canadian health care workers ' mentally prepare' for coronavirus

Healthcare workers in Canada ‘mentally prepare’ for coronavirus Mental health concerns extend to healthcare professionals on the front line of the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The number of cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is steadily increasing in Canada as more tests are carried out - and physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals are gauging how ready they are to respond, Alam told Al Jazeera.

In places such as Canada and the United States, where the number of COVID-19 patients is expected to peak in the coming weeks, healthcare workers are waiting for their turn in the eye of the storm - a wait, and reality, that is having a tremendous effect on their mental health.

Dr Caroline Gerin-Lajoie, executive vice president of physician health and wellness at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), said that while healthcare workers are trained to deal with crises, the COVID-19 pandemic presents some unique challenges.

“The way we usually work in healthcare is now flipped upside down, and we are having to look at innovative ways to continue providing the best healthcare that we can at this particular time to our patients.” “In order to take care of other people, you must take care of yourself first,” she said, urging healthcare professionals to use the mental health resources that are available to them.

Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and other provinces have called on retired nurses, healthcare professionals who are on leave or work part-time and medical trainees to help, while the federal Public Health Agency of Canada asked for applications from nurses able to conduct health assessments, provide advice and communicate directives, among other duties.

“We also need the public to help the healthcare workers do their jobs, and the public can do that by not overburdening the healthcare system,” he said.

 *I say that this COVID-19 is our generation's.   
  war effort. This is the time to pull together. 
  This is the time to look after one another.*
                  *-DR NADIA ALAM*

“What happened in SARS which was disturbing was that healthcare workers who worked with SARS patients were shunned and avoided by people in their community because people were frightened that they were infected,” he said. Read More in the source