‘They’re scared’: How COVID-19 is impacting the mental health of doctors, nurses

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As the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the country, Canada’s doctors and nurses have been working tirelessly to treat those infected and stem the virus’ spread.

But working long, gruelling shifts and lacking necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), frontline health care workers are feeling strained, with many expressing concerns that the pandemic is negatively impacting their mental health.

Dr. Sandy Buchman, president at the Canadian Medical Association, said physicians are experiencing “a lot of anxiety.”

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“They’re scared. They are frightened in anticipation of what’s to come,” he said. They are scared for their patients, they are scared for themselves and their own health. They are afraid about their families, their loved ones.”

He said physicians are “especially frightened” because they’re “uncertain about the personal protective equipment they have.”

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2:37COVID-19’s impact on our mental health

COVID-19’s impact on our mental health

Buchman added even before the COVID-19 pandemic, burnout was becoming increasingly common among doctors.

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