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The effects of Covid-19 on medical practitioners

December 9, 2021

The coronavirus is affecting healthcare workers in and outside of the hospital.  

The coronavirus first made headlines in March of 2020 and is still changing the world today. It has been longer than a year since the United States’ first lockdown and hopes of returning to a world before masks are being lost. Though 55 percent of United States citizens are fully vaccinated, those who have the option to be vaccinated and simply choose not to are contributing to the prolonged usage of masks and social distancing. The lack of vaccination is not only changing the lives citizens in United States, but also extremely affecting healthcare workers.  

“Health Care Worker” is a broad grouping of all the people who work in the medical field. This includes working inside the hospital and with patients, but also includes the people who work in the technological parts of medicine.  

It is no secret that Covid –19 is affecting frontline hospital workers. Nurses are currently suffering a lack of hospital needs. The inability to hold patients leaves only room for those who are the sickest. Recently, the Delta Variant of Covid-19 has been discovered to make people even sicker, putting more people in the hospital. Not only are nurses affected physically through exhaustion from excruciating hours, but they are also affected mentally and emotionally.  

Most would say it is not an easy job to take care of sick people all day. This is a normal task of a frontline hospital worker, specifically a nurse. Nurses not only take treat sickness; patients also rely on them for reassurance of their health and safety. This pandemic has nurses fearing for their health and safety as well. Many nurses come home to a family after multiple days of working and are afraid that they are going to give this virus to their family. Nurses now must deal with the stress in and outside of the hospital. Media coverage shows the struggle of Covid-19 patients, but it does not show the impact on nurses and doctors who cannot run from the realization that this pandemic and these patients are not getting better.  

Covid-19 does not only affect front-line hospital workers. This virus affects all aspects of the medical field, including informational technology.  

Informational technology is one of the most important attributes in the function of a hospital. Informational technologists have many responsibilities, including configuring documentation for the frontline health care workers. It is the job of the informational technologists to ensure the safety of patients by keeping their medical records and playing a part in creating effective treatment plans. The job is always changing, especially considering the creating of new treatment plans as the virus evolves.  

Denise Liljestrand is an information technologist for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, also known as UNMC. Liljestrand comments on the effects that Covid has had on her job.  

Covid-19 has affected the work I do now in information technology by maintaining the electronic health record. I currently use my knowledge and experience as a nurse to lead a team of analysts who configure documentation for the frontline health care workers. My team focuses on usability, efficiency, and notifications to best care for all patients, including the continuous changes in recommendations to care for COVID-19 patients based on evidence based best practices,” Liljestrand said.  

Liljestrand says that the vaccine is one of the most important factors of ending the virus. Research and data have proven that vaccines are effective in curing and preventing viruses. She stresses how important it is to vaccinate, and comments on her experiences with vaccines as a child.  

“I believe in research and outcomes of the data.  When I was younger, I thought I was invincible, like Captain Marvel. My parents followed the vaccine recommendations and now that I am a mother, and for their safety and the safety of those around them, they also receive the CDC recommended vaccines,” Liljestrand said.  

To conclude, Liljestrand gives her opinion on Covid-19 in schools.  

“Ralph Waldo Emerson said ‘As soon as there is life there is danger.’ Your life will be filled with dangers, like getting in a motor vehicle accident.  You have control of how you will face these life experiences. Will you wear your seatbelt? Facing the threats of Covid-19, will you wear a mask? Wash your hands? Will you live your life in fear, or will you educate yourself to overcome adversity and live life to the fullest? I send my children to school, knowing they have the knowledge to keep themselves safe in the presence of danger,” Liljestrand said. 

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