Overcoming moral injury during COVID
Moral injury is defined as an injury to the moral values or conscience of an individual. There are times where we have to perform certain acts that go in conflict with the values, we hold for ourselves. This produces a severe emotional guilt and a sense of shame. During the time of the COVID pandemic, research shows that many of the frontline health workers have to suffer this moral injury during this time . Frontline health workers need to deal with the burden of insufficient material resources and human resources during the time of pandemic. Very often they have to deal with life or death situations and make tough decisions. They also have the burden of facing the family and relatives of those who have been admitted or deceased. Moral injury sets in during these times.
In addition, there is a risk post Covid -19 for the health sector to be overwhelmed due to continues traumatic experience and shows signs of absenteeism and presentism of Health workers.
To avoid the moral injury from developing into a serious mental illness it can be addressed in the earlier stages. Providing appropriate mental health education and ways to take care about it would be one of the preventive action that would help. Preparing the health workers to face the COVID- 19 situation by educating them on mental health issues will enable them to manage their mental health effectively and support others as well. Educating the managers / supervisors in a hospital administration for supportive supervision will result in better patient outcomes, positive working environment and better mental health for the health workers too.