This is a healthcare post by Ronald.
Public health workers are an essential part of the healthcare sector as they understand public health better than anyone. Unfortunately, the pandemic of 2019 has been relentless. The wave spread fast and quickly, claiming numerous lives in its path.
Corona is a dangerous virus with signs and symptoms include coughing, which quickly progresses into a fever. Hospitals were knees deep in dealing with piling cases while new patients could not get admitted. Public health workers became crucial for the healthcare sector. The care and work they did during the pandemic are commendable. The work they are continuing is also highly remarkable. However, managing a pandemic of a large magnitude is not easy. Here are some challenges these professionals faced:
Trying To Establish Ground Rules
When the pandemic spreads globally, establishing ground rules is essential. Since the vaccine was yet available, initially, teaching the community preventive measures was necessary. The WHO and CDC posted information on preventative measures.
Unfortunately, these were not easy to establish. These measures include telling the community to wash their hands frequently, use sanitizers and wear masks. While some people followed these rules, others didn’t.
These oppositions made the work for public health professionals difficult. It pushed the government to put lockdown measures and place extreme measures to curb the rebellion.
Lack Of Knowledge On The Virus
Most public health professionals are highly qualified, and if you’re interested in the field, you can also pursue your specialization in the area of public health. There is an influx in the online registration of healthcare courses as it allows flexibility to balance work, life, and higher education.
Similarly, programs such as Masters in public health online are lucrative in helping you set your career path effectively.
The only way the public health professionals could provide information on the virus was by talking to hospitals. It is only through their experience and knowledge they could provide the government information on the virus. Patients who came in with symptoms get recorded along with their ethnicity and age.
However, the data still wasn’t enough. As the months progressed, some cases showed different signs and symptoms. So for the public health officials, it became difficult to release and talk about the virus itself.
The lack of information and piling cases caused severe unrest among the people. It also made it challenging to inform the public on the kinds of precautions they should take. So lockdowns and shutting down restaurants became indefinite.
Keeping Themselves Safe
The virus didn’t take long to spread, and when it spreads, it takes a toll on you. It also didn’t help if public health workers got impacted by the virus. It could spread through airborne droplets that stayed on surfaces. It also didn’t help as healthcare professionals were checking so many patients at one time and exposing themselves to the virus more. So it was a challenge to look after the community while keeping themselves safe.
Administering Proper Care
When you get impacted by the virus, you need to quarantine. Unfortunately, not everyone has the faculties to take care of themselves. Not only does it make it difficult for healthcare professionals to take care of them, but it also piles on cases.
People stemming from poor socioeconomic backgrounds didn’t have houses that could separate them from their families. It also made it difficult for public health workers to decide who to take to the hospital and quarantine at home. It also didn’t help that the people receiving care didn’t follow the rules of sanitation and hygiene properly.
For many public health officials, it was not easy to take care of the people. It entailed staying away from their families for a long time. It is not easy to take care of patients when you’re tired yourself. Lack of rest and physical exhaustion takes a toll on you. For public health professionals providing care at the expense of their health is not easy. None of these circumstances are easy on anyone.
Reaching Immunocompromised Patients
Immunocompromised patients need extra help. These patients cannot go to the hospital unless the hospital is functioning at total capacity. So these patients must get proper support. For the public health officials, it means regular sanitation before reaching these patients. It also includes utilizing all the resources to make sure these patients get appropriately treated. In the middle of the pandemic, it became difficult to provide help. Resources are deploying rapidly, and taking them to the hospital was out of the question.
Breach Of Confidentiality
The only way public health officials could stay on top of the information that the CDC and WHO will use was difficult to obtain. Hospitals don’t hand out information. Since the situation was unique, hospitals worked with public health officials closely.
At the same time, it looks like a breach of confidentiality. Most public healthcare workers took great care in ensuring privacy. However, that also wasn’t easy. Since studying patterns for the sake of research involves using data as accurately as possible.
If public health officials are not careful, they can get into a legal lawsuit. So it was a challenge to get the correct information for preparing and setting a path for the vaccine.
After the first round of vaccines made an appearance, it became difficult to administer vaccines. There was much vaccine skepticism as people were unwilling to take a vaccine they didn’t trust yet. These vaccines also took a shorter time than regular vaccines before they became available. While vaccines were getting administered, there was another round of research getting done on them. Some patients showed promising results while others didn’t.
However, the ratio of people reacting well to the vaccine was much more than those not getting better. The other side of the picture of vaccination is people cooperating with the public health officials. These people willingly get vaccines and help the public health officials compile their research. However, there are a set of challenges faced by vaccine production.
These include transporting and storing the vaccine and even distributing the vaccine. Another wave of research is needed to help doctors and healthcare officials propagate vaccine usage as much as possible.
Public health officials and professionals are essential in helping the healthcare sector achieve its goals. However, the pandemic is one of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced. There were numerous cases with no end in sight.
Public health officials had to establish ground rules to guide people on how to take care of themselves. These include sanitation and proper hygiene. But they are getting people to follow these rules. It was also challenging to help people who needed to tap into hospital facilities. Despite these measures, healthcare workers still managed to push through.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.