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Health care workers likely to experience PTSD due to pandemic

Updated: May. 7, 2020 at 4:42 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of stress, especially for health care workers.

Dr. Shubi Mukatira and Leslie Lindsey work at the Transformation Center in Memphis. Both are experts in treating trauma and anxiety disorders. They are seeing the toll the pandemic is taking on the mental health of healthcare care workers.

Psychiatrist Dr. Shabi Mukatira said, "Healthcare workers are often the only ones present with a COVID patient who is dying. Another concern is that health care workers may be witnessing their coworkers get sick.

Director of Clinical Services Leslie Lindsey said, “There are certainly healthcare workers that have fear of ‘Return to Work.’”

They say healthcare workers are likely to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"We can't wonder if healthcare providers are going to, or experience PTSD. With the influx that we expect, we have to know that that's going to happen," Lindsey said.

They encourage those close to healthcare workers to watch out for the signs that indicate that they may be struggling with PTSD.

Dr. Mukatira explained, "Symptoms include feelings of depression, irritability, withdrawing from friends, difficulty with nightmares."

Those on the front lines are also being encouraged to seek help from a counselor.

Dr. Mukatira added, “Utilize services in the community, whether it’s Transformation Center or other counseling programs, because reaching out now for mental health counseling can allow our health care providers to process emotional and psychological experiences as they are occurring.”

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