By Kellie Rodriguez, RN, MSN, MBA, CDCES
Who would have expected the year that was 2020!
COVID-19 has had an unimaginable impact on life as we know it. Fatigue has never been so overwhelming for all of us in healthcare. Not only the physical fatigue from persistent long work hours, but the mental fatigue caused by the unrelenting risks and demands of the disease. COVID has magnified stress and burnout in healthcare delivery, demanding that employers truly monitor employee well-being. As a director, I have felt an intense sense of responsibility to colleagues, not only to help ensure their physical well-being and safety but also their emotional and psychological health.
Despite the pandemic, providing care for a high-risk diabetes and foot wound population has continued unabated thanks to optimization of face-to-face and virtual visit options with patient volumes not dropping below 100 percent. The pressure to keep moving forward is unrelenting while COVID exacts a hefty toll on all of us. For some employees, the transition to working from home has fostered a sense of safety and enhanced productivity, but for others has created a sense of isolation.
COVID has upended our work-life balance and added stress in most families. In my home, we’re concerned about an increased exposure risk for our children because both parents work in healthcare. We’ve halted many family activities outside the home. Initially reluctant to wear facemasks, the children now automatically wear one for the chance to leave the walls of a ‘confining’ home. School life has changed dramatically with our home becoming a virtual learning center. Our children experience long screen days, and their grades have fallen lower than usual. Evening tutorials led by tired and unprepared parents are a necessary trade-off for now.
From the early days of COVID-19, the promise of a vaccine has been a ray of hope on the horizon. Initially, I was certain that I would wait for some time after vaccine availability to be able to adequately evaluate the potential risks of receiving the vaccine. However, on Dec. 18, 2020, four days after vaccine availability, I was in line at Parkland’s COVID vaccine clinic, eagerly awaiting my turn to fight back and regain control from this disease that has taken too much. I trust the regulatory and safety processes of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in providing Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status. The COVID vaccine does not use live COVID virus and works by stimulating the immune response to produce antibodies, helping to reduce the risk of severe illness. The only unanswered question for me is duration of immunity…. time will tell.
The vaccine is not mandatory. The choice to vaccinate is personal. I encourage you to get as much information as possible to make an informed decision and also urge you to consider the impact COVID-19 has had on your life and those around you. The decision to vaccinate now was an easy choice for me.
For more on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit DiabetesEducator.org/COVID-19vaccine.
FREE Webinar: Get an overview of everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine and its benefits for people with diabetes in this free live webinar from ADCES. Find out how to speak with clients about the vaccine and address concerns. Join us Tuesday, January 26 at 1 pm ET and earn 1 CE. Register now at https://bit.ly/3oODyKs
ADCES Perspectives on Diabetes Care
The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists Perspectives on Diabetes Care covers diabetes, prediabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions. Not all views expressed reflect the official position of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.
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