Doctors Are Succumbing To Compassion Fatigue

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : September 23, 2021

With Covid cases on the rise again in the country, the doctors and medical staff are likely to be burdened again just like they were during the peak of the first and second wave of Covid. Compassion Fatigue is what they have been suffering from over the past year or so, as they felt helpless and it was tough to see patients die in front of them, the same patients to whose welfare they were committed.

Doctors Are Succumbing To Compassion Fatigue

Dr. Bryce Meck shared that last February when the first wave of Covid was reaching its peak, she used to lock herself in the bathroom for 5 minutes to cry as she felt helpless watching her patients who had been in the medical intensive care unit for weeks dying from Covid-19.

Doctors Are Succumbing To Compassion Fatigue

She and several other medical companions begged the communities to get vaccinated at the earliest as it was hard for not just the families to lose a member but also for doctors to see that they couldn’t cater to the welfare of the community against an unpredictable foe. 

Despite repeated requests from medical experts all around the globe, there has been hesitation among people to get vaccinating, which is not just surprising but fatiguing as well. Dr. Meck also shared that several patients expressed vaccine hesitancy as they were misinformed and pressured by family members or friends to remain unvaccinated.

“If only these people could meet those in the hospital who are suffering from Covid”, says Meck. The medical professionals are now more than ever drained from trauma and relentless grief of the pandemic but it’s not just the volume of the patients that is tiresome, but also the constraints of the healthcare system limiting them at their jobs and above all the hesitancy of those who don’t want to get vaccinated.

Covid cases among children are rising on a daily basis in Missouri hospitals. At 46%, the full vaccination rate of the state is among the lowest in the country. In Kansas, the number of Covid patients is outnumbering the number of ICU beds, meanwhile, morgues are overwhelmed in Oregon, while doctors in Palm Beach County are still pleading with the locals to trust them and get fully vaccinated at the earliest.

Dr. Anita Sircar said that she can’t help but feel angry at patients who are severely ill from Covid but could have avoided their present condition by just taking their respective vaccination doses when they had the chance instead of showing hesitancy.

She also said that compassion fatigue was setting in amongst her colleagues and she felt the same as well. With whatever hope and efforts, they tackled the first wave which was the toughest time in their professional life, seeing people being hesitant to support them by taking vaccines and then falling ill is resulting in loss of hope and fatigue.

The Covid surge is affecting people with all kinds of problems. For example, a person might have met with an accident and might require spine surgery but the doctors have no option but to not treat them as there are no ICU beds in the hospital to admit the patient. All beds are occupied by Covid patients leading to a severe crisis and a situation of panic for those who aren’t suffering from Covid as well.

Not just the physical toll, but the psychological and emotional toll on the doctors is immense. They are overloaded with work, have little support, and cannot make mistakes in their profession. It’s high time people realize that there are humans as well and that this toll is affecting their mental health. So, people need to support them in every way possible, starting by getting vaccinated and making their lives easier.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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