As the world rejoices at the news that an effective vaccine for COVID-19 is soon to be released, the global medical community waits patiently for results. It has been nearly a year since the first cases of coronavirus were positively identified and no aspect of the world has remained unchanged. In addition to the millions of lives that COVID-19 has claimed, the world’s medical landscape has changed. Medical experts may be tired, but they have not given up. Here is what members of the medical community are looking to in the future in a post COVID-19 world.
As the Medical Field Recovers
No group has worked as tirelessly as the healthcare field to get a handle on the coronavirus epidemic. As patients came into emergency rooms around the world, medical professionals from all over rallied and put together their resources to deal with the impending crisis. Even though they were frightened of the unknown, they selflessly put their own lives at risk to handle wave after wave of cases. In the beginning, PPE and ventilators were hard to come by. Nurses worked around the clock, without relief, to provide comfort and care to patients whom they knew would ultimately succumb to this illness. As a result, the medical field is still in a state of recovery as they are not yet out of the woods.
New Ways of Educating and Training Medical Professionals
For the first time in modern history, entire towns and cities essentially shut down in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Schools moved toward remote learning as corporations closed their offices and sent thousands of staff to work from home. Tasks that were normally done in person began to be completely digital. This website shows how aspiring nurses can further their education online. While distance learning has become somewhat routine in the world of medicine, conferences, training, and other forms of education have increasingly become available on the web. This development allowed for medical professionals to receive timely information on the treatment and prevention of coronavirus.
Testing Widespread Response to the Next Global Pandemic
Almost as important as the treatment of COVID-19 is the prevention of its spread. It is known that coronavirus can be spread indirectly, both through the air as well as via the contamination of surfaces. Wearing a mask and staying away from large crowds helps, but these barriers are not 100 percent effective. In the case of medical professionals, it is impossible to avoid hot zones where infected patients are being treated. This is why testing for coronavirus is one of the best prevention methods. Through testing and isolation, hospitals have stayed operational and areas with high rates of infection have been contained. Many doctors and nurses themselves have become infected with COVID-19, slowing down the fight against the pandemic. Testing should always be performed if there has been any risk of exposure or if a patient starts to experience symptoms.
Burnout, Strikes, and Resistance
While medical experts have been absolutely crucial in the fight against coronavirus, they are also human. Fatigue has set in and frustration is at an all-time high. In some places in the US, nurses are going on strike in an effort to make their voices heard. While strict lockdowns in India have helped to quell the spread of coronavirus to some degree, their medical professionals continue to be overwhelmed. Medical professionals serve as important frontline workers, but their resources are not inexhaustible. They require rest as well as mental health support for all of trauma that they have endured. Remembering each one of the patients that they have lost has certainly has an effect on all doctors and nurses working in emergency rooms.
Vaccinations for Everyone?
There are several vaccines being developed with medical experts anticipating the release of one very soon. Of course, the most high-risk populations are expected to be vaccinated first. This includes nurses and other medical professionals. Unfortunately, a sizable portion of healthcare professionals are on the fence about whether or not they would voluntarily take the coronavirus vaccine. In order for it to be most effective, the vast majority of people in the world will have to be inoculated. It is already expected to take years before enough doses of the vaccine can be manufactured and distributed. However, if those who work in the healthcare sector don’t take it then it could be some time before the population is open to being vaccinated as well. More testing and observation is necessary to understand what the side effects of various COVID-19 vaccines are, but time remains of the essence.
The Scoop on Telemedicine
For a period, virtually all non-emergency health screenings and treatments were suspended worldwide. Doctors offices weren’t opening as there was no way to separate healthy from unwell patients. Medical experts understand how coronavirus is spread, and crowded doctor’s offices would have made a recipe for disaster. In its place, telemedicine became highly popular. If you needed to meet with your doctor to have a prescription filled, telemedicine served as the contactless medium that kept all parties safe. Even coronavirus screenings themselves have been more frequently conducted via telemedicine, helping to reduce risk to emergency frontline workers. It appears that telemedicine is going to be continuously used in the future as a way of keeping exposure risks down while also extending high-quality medical services to patients at large.
After making it through the most recent pandemic in modern times, medical professionals are still processing the totality of the after-effects. Patients who survived COVID-19 are still not totally in the clear, as the side effects and residual symptoms of this disease are not fully known. People who have been infected with coronavirus can still be infected again, while other illnesses such as bronchitis and the flu have been shown to further complicate recovery. People are eventually going to be able to put away their face masks and openly hug and kiss their loved ones again, but no one will soon forget what occurred. For medical professionals, this is especially true.