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Healthcare workers: How they prevent exhaustion during pandemic

Posted at 9:08 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 21:08:38-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Doctors and healthcare workers on the front lines of fighting Covid-19 aren't invincible. They are also struggling during this time to avoid burnout and exhaustion while continuing on as COVID-19 heroes.

“Things are very different for everyone. There is a lot of exhaustion it has really been challenging,” said Dr. Lindi Hayes.

For nine months now Dr. Hayes has been locked into treating and saving patients diagnosed with the Coronavirus.

“With full body gear, a suit and glove, and multiple jackets on it can get exhausting. You can sweat, get dehydrated because of that. Then in-patient care areas for 12 to 15-hours it can be difficult to get out get a break and go get something to eat and something to drink," said Dr. Hayes.

She says it becomes about remembering to do the little things to keep going, like eating, staying hydrated, and creating time for self-care.

“Sometimes your vacation is just making sure that you get enough rest,” said Dr. Hayes.

Dr. Hayes used to look forward to getting away to enjoy a trip, but even though she isn't traveling for leisure right now, she hasn't forgotten the importance of taking breaks.

“Sometimes it gets overwhelming and sometimes we have to turn it off,” said Dr. Hayes.

In order to stay fresh and at her best. “As fatigue increases what happens is that you increase the likelihood of medical error,” said Dr.Hayes.

She says make no mistake, fighting Covid-19 for long hours and days has made her more intentional about getting rest and disconnecting on down time.

“It is really requiring specific and targeted intentional acts in order to combat the fatigue, depression and level of sadness. We experience seeing so much sickness and death on a regular basis,” said Dr.Hayes.

She says she took an oath to help others and it matters especially during times like these.