The “ symptoms ” of health personnel during the pandemic: insomnia, headaches, nervousness, irritability, feeling of suffocation …
40% of healthcare professionals and social workers require a detailed occupational health assessment for possible anxiety and depression, according to health report from the “ 1st Global Study on the Impact of COVID- 19 on the health of the workers of the consultancy firm Affor Prevencin Psicosocial. Most have visible symptoms, but it is not always easy to identify what type of disorder we are facing and how to deal with it. For this reason, Affor organized a 1st Ibero-American Forum on the Management of Psychosocial Risks in the Health and Social Services Sector, during which best practices in this area were shared.
The meeting was presented and moderated by Gloria Morgan, member of the advisory committee of Affor Prevencin Psicosocial, and had the participation of representatives of the sector such as Luis Manzn, head of the occupational risk prevention service of the Universitario de Fuenlabrada Hospital. , Daniela Mora, Director of People Management and Development OMINT Group and Joan Piol, Health and Emotional Well-Being Services of the Health and People Foundation, Dr Camilo Eusebio Gmez, Vice President of Promotion and Prevention of Positiva ARL (Colombia) and Dr Ivonne De la Vega, from the military hospital (Ecuador).
Luis Manzn Cuadrado, head of the occupational risk prevention service at the University Hospital of Fuenlabrada, highlighted as factors that have contributed to managing the psychological discomfort of health personnel: information management, transparency and clarity, participation , multidisciplinary groups and social and family support. According to him: “it is necessary for our professionals to develop professionally and emotionally. Empathy is one of the keys, internally and externally ”.
“It is necessary to bet on conscious leadership and to articulate being with doing,” said Daniela Mora, Director of People and Development Management, OMINT Group. From this group, various actions related to emotional restraint have been implemented, as well as psychological support programs for employees and emotional management actions. Among the lessons learned from these good practices, Daniela underlines the need for articulation between being and doing, seeking a conscious and more human leadership, redefining the goal (there is a before and an after for all health professionals) and centrality. in the collaborator.
Joan Piol, from the Emociona health and well-being services of the Foundation for Health and Person, recalled that “psychosocial illnesses are the leading cause of sick leave in Europe”. According to his experience, the figures of the different sectors highlight the need to manage the psychological health of people and organizations.
The toilet situation
According to the study conducted by Affor globally in which more than 750 professionals participated, 73.3% have sleep disorders and 61% have symptoms of nervousness, irritability and tension, among others. The exceptional health crisis that we have been experiencing for several months places healthcare professionals in a situation of extreme exposure to the risk of their health being affected, not only physically because of the risk of contagion, but also emotionally.
“There is no doubt that health and social services are two of the groups in which the impact of COVID-19 is greatest in terms of psychological imbalances. The physical impact is palpable and obvious, but we did not expect such devastating emotional consequences after a health or social crisis. We go from acute stressful situations to chronic stress and in some cases we even see post-traumatic stress disorder, ”says Carmen Rodríguez, director of the Affor Psychological Intervention Area.
“Psychosocial risks in the social and health sector have always been one of the main causes of discomfort among professionals and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, they worsened. Working hours are lengthening, resources are insufficient and exposure to the psychological demands that our professionals have to face during this crisis has increased. We must act to avoid the psychological wear and tear of health workers and possible situations of anxiety and stress in the face of a crisis marked by uncertainty and which should last over time ”, summarizes Anabel Fernndez, CEO of Affor .