Getting doctors some time off the clock is key to preventing burnout during COVID-19 crisis

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There no COVID-19 burnout yet among doctors at Rush University Medical Center, but there are watchful eyes in the lookout.

"What I have seen is that they want to do more and they wish they had more to offer and that can be a source of stress for all HC workers," said Dr. David Banayan, Assistant professor department of psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center.

Banayan helps organize roving crews of health care workers to check in with the people on the pandemic's front lines

"It is hard to be in a place where you are in a battle but have limited resources tools in which to be effective against the enemy that you're fighting which is a virus," Banayan said. "We are all united in combating this and I think that has done a tremendous job ensuring our spirits."

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The psychiatrist said at this point in Chicago's COVID-19 experience, getting doctors get off the clock, even for a little while, is key to preventing burnout.

"There have been protocols initiated now so that people are being given breaks and people are rotating on and off and redeployment of people is designed to maximize that so someone is not constantly without a break," Banayan said.

The potential risk of burnout aside, a recent survey of its 17,000 doctors, the Chicago Medical Society said 93% fear getting the virus.

"I think just like the general public healthcare workers are concerned about transmitting this to their families so much so that there are some people who have isolated themselves and are living away from their families," Banayan said.
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