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The emotional toll of COVID-19

Eight TikToks shed light on the pandemic’s effect on healthcare workers—in their own words.

Today's front lines aren't on enemy soil—they're in patient rooms throughout the world. While doctors, nurses, and hospital staff are showing up to fight, they're encountering a previously unseen level of stressors along the way. The compounding effects of COVID-19, limited personal protective equipment (PPE), long hours, and overworked staff have brought new hurdles to an already challenging field. Clinicians aren’t just getting burned out—they’re actually considering leaving the profession altogether due to the moral injury they suffer on a consistent basis when they can’t control the circumstances but know change is needed.

Don’t believe us? Clinicians from all walks of life have started to share their daily struggles on TikTok—and it’s as heartbreaking as you’d imagine. Please be warned, these videos are real, raw, and very vulnerable. But they point to one simple truth: healthcare professionals need support from leaders, co-workers, family, and friends more than ever.

1. As healthcare workers are struggling with the effects of COVID-19, a little love (inside and outside of work) can go a long way:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMe8rDVGe/

2. Sage advice for those being verbally disrespected: 

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMe8MmcKD/ 

3. A powerful post from someone who’s not giving up in the face of challenge or struggle:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMe8r2vWA/ 

4. Clinicians never stopped being heroes, but things have changed: 

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMe8hoL9e/ 

5. Moral injury is hitting max capacity for this nurse. This is real life:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMe8hQsF8/

6. Just how many hours are clinicians putting in? Too many: 

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeLJN8dV/

7. A nurse tells it like it is, for those folks that don’t believe COVID-19 and what someone that works in a COVID ICU unit actually deals with:

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMe8F9bUe/ 

8. PPE is really taking its toll on clinicians: 

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMe8FxUw7/ 

One thing is clear—there’s a need for more empathy, more inclusion, and more humanity in the healthcare space. At Softway, we’re here to put love to work. If you’re a clinician of any kind, thank you for the tireless work you do. We have resources and content devoted to creating a more empathetic workplace for you—and a better patient experience for those that you care for on a daily basis.

A great place to start: our Love As A Healthcare Strategy podcast episode, where we sit down with Dr. Rod Brace as he outlines why the need for mutual trust and respect is vital to creating thriving and safe healthcare organizations.