When it comes to doctors' confidence in fighting the pandemic, nearly half of them lacked confidence in their ability to cope with the second wave of coronavirus infections amid existing anxiety, stress, and burnout, according to a survey.
A poll by the British Medical Association (BMA) found that 19 percent of doctors were "not at all confident" in their abilities in managing patient demand supposing another wave, while 30 percent said they were "not very confident."
Mental Conditions due to Pandemic
The survey further showed, 44 percent of more than 7,000 BMA members surveyed said they were already suffering from mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress or burnout, related to work. There is already a warning by Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser that the second peak of COVID-19 might hit the UK, if "a wave goes across the world," reported Telegraph.
Recently, the World Health Organisation also said citing accelerating virus numbers that the world has entered "a new and dangerous phase" of coronavirus spread. Further stating that the countries with declining infections could face a second peak on easing lockdown measures quickly.
Why This Low Confidence Level?
Dr. Rob Harwood, anesthetist chairing the BMA's consultants committee said that many factors contributed to the lowered level of confidence among doctors in dealing with another peak, such as exhaustion, stress, and on questions of availability of personal protective equipment. Further stress is added as doctors outside their normal clinical area of expertise stood at the forefront of the fight against the disease, he said.
Specific consultants spend many years getting trained to do a particular thing. A sudden jump to a different clinical environment would mean all those years of expertise acquired might not cater immediately to the new fight against COVID-19, Dr. Harwood said. If someone is frightened, long duty periods get "pretty stressful," he adds.
Less Than Half Are Confident
Only 12 percent of doctors said they were very confident, while 36 percent of the surveyed said they were 'slightly confident,' making 48 percent of them siding with the 'confident' category. About one in five surveyed doctors said that they would demand non-coronavirus care service if returned to pre-March coronavirus levels.
Asked about the extent to which the prioritization of patients with possible or confirmed COVID-19 was affecting the care given to others without the disease, The situation was significantly worsening, according to 27 percent of the doctors, in giving the required care to non-COVID-19 patients due to the prioritization of coronavirus ones.