In today’s modern world, the medical system is unthinkable without its imaging staff. Radiology plays a crucial role in every step of treatment. Be it the correct diagnoses of the disease or its management, physicians constantly take the help of radiologists to render the proper treatment. Even amidst the Covid-19, chest radiographs are proving extremely helpful in early detection and effective treatment of the conditions.
But while they are making such a huge impact, it may be worth noting how they themselves are grappling with the situation.
Low Morale and Unhappiness
A startling new survey indicates that the Covid-19 crisis has pushed a vast majority of radiologic technologists towards emotional damage and low morale. Consequently, their happiness and satisfaction level had also suffered a blow compared to how they felt before the pandemic had hit.
The survey was based on a voluntary online questionnaire that saw more than 200 participants from the Imaging industry working in various hospitals across Turkey. The wide set of questions were designed to gauge their opinions, their expertise, personal experiences, and protective strategies, along with their general awareness about the novel Covid-19 virus.
What Does The Survey Reveal?
Based on responses, one can infer that the participants have a sound understanding of the virus, including its symptoms, diagnosis and causes. However, their familiarity with the treatment procedures and recovery aspects of the virus was comparatively low.
Experts in the European Journal of Radiology (Nov 22) have inferred that the responses were in accordance with healthcare workers’ general response to situations such as an epidemic caused by the spread of an infectious disease.
In such situations, health care workers are likely to feel vulnerable, propelled by the sense of loss of control over the situation. The health care workers, including radiologists, also tend to become increasingly sensitive to the dangers involved in their work and experience growing concern for their own health. The change in the working conditions also leaves many feeling ill-adjusted and isolated.
Linkert Scale Study
To increase the scope of their study, the authors of these tests have gone beyond questions related to their work or socio-demographic conditions. Each participant also answered a customized Covid-19 questionnaire, with options based on the 5-point Linkert Scale.
It was clear from the responses that technologists who have faced low rates of infection among their family or who themselves have not faced the infection yet indicated favorable conditions. They also had a thorough knowledge of the imagining techniques required for Covid, along with specific safety plans for their facility.
The experts have also noted through the study that the psychological impact of the crisis varies according to the specific conditions of each country. In the case of Turkey, cases began to arrive much later than in the other parts of the world. The leadership, too, took immediate action, ensuring that there is adequate ICU capacity for the patients. Unlike some other countries, the leadership was also very keen on ensuring that there was no shortage of personal protective gear for the medical staff.
Radiologists are a crucial part of the medical ecosystem. Without their support, the treatment of patients can suffer a major setback. So while steering through the various challenges of the pandemic, it is important to acknowledge and address their problems too. From the findings of the study, it is clear that there is a need for emphasis on advanced training related to Covid-19 its protective measures among imaging professionals.
Apart from that, provisions must also be made for special mental health care support for all those technicians who are handling the stress from the front line. With tailored support services that can cater to the needs of the vulnerable group, imaging staff can experience an improvement in their safety, health and job satisfaction, even amidst the trying situation of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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