Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the stress levels of the world have increased dramatically. This deadly virus has understandably made a lot of people scared. Your medical staff is dealing with people that are nervous, anxious, and uncertain about what risks they are now facing thanks to this deadly virus. Patients are going to have a lot of questions about their well being, what they can do to stay healthy, and what will happen if they become infected. Much of the patient focus needs to switch to mental health and keeping patients calm with the help of information.
Assuring patients that while adhering to HIPAA regulations, you are keeping their diagnosis and treatment confidential along with keeping them educated about the pandemic. Let’s take a look at how you can effectively ease the fears of your COVID-19 patients.
Since the COVID-19 virus affects people in different ways, there has been a lot of speculation and concern from patients who have tested positive. As many as 40% of people with COVID-19 will not experience any symptoms at all, but some end up in the hospital in critical condition. This unknown element is what remains behind much of the fear in patients. When your patient tests positive for COVID-19, it’s critical that you educate them about what to expect and give them the numbers to process. Be available through teleconferencing or video office visits so that you can address fears during the illness.
As the pandemic continues throughout the world, science is working hard to unravel the riddle of this previously unknown virus. Due to the nature of the illness, many things are still being discovered. It’s vital to share the most up to date information with your patients that have tested positive. Knowledge has the power to calm and assure patients that are anxious about their diagnosis.
The one disadvantage of a world online is that there has been a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 in the media. Non-medical and non-scientific “experts” have caused a huge amount of confusion about the virus. In many places, there are people who have been convinced via online campaigns that COVID-19 isn’t real. This kind of propaganda and misinformation is not only dangerous, but can add to the fears and anxiety of your patients. It’s recommended that you advise your patients to avoid unofficial statements and information about the virus that could lead to confusion and fear.
With multiple approved vaccines on the way and a few trial treatments showing promise in some patients, the future is encouraging. However, at this time, there is no broad-spectrum treatment for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. The most proactive recommendation is to have patients work to strengthen their immune systems to help fight the infection. A combination of vitamins including zinc can help patients to feel like they have tools to help them fight the virus.
The healthcare industry is on the front lines of this pandemic. People around the world are looking to their doctors for reassurance and confidence to help them through this frightening time. With an open dialogue, arming patients with knowledge and continued support, you can ease the fears of your patients with COVID-19.