•  
  •  
 
The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections

Abstract

Consultation/liaison psychiatrists care for people with co-existing medical and psychologic difficulties. The coronavirus pandemic is stressful for patients and their psychiatric caregivers. Patients have lost support systems and harbor fears about exposing family to the virus. COVID-19 sometimes exacerbates previous psychiatric conditions, while diminishing intimacy with physicians. Everyone is oversaturated with COVID-19-related news focusing on rising concerns about the illness and about jobs, school, and housing insecurities.

The psychiatrist maintains a hospital presence despite fear of contracting the disease. Challenges include addressing staff morale, evidencing empathy despite telecommunication devices, and treating anxiety, depression, sleep phobias, post intubation flashbacks, COVID-19-induced cognitive disorders, and/or drug and alcohol addiction or withdrawal. They also provide support to patients who otherwise would die alone. The consultant must value small clinical successes, debrief beleaguered colleagues, offer support to hospital staff, and deliver psychotherapies to bolster patient comfort and autonomy. They prescribe pharmacotherapies that address psychiatric concerns without adversely affecting medical conditions. To decrease professional burnout from COVID-19-related issues, psychiatrists should attend to self-care and precautions designed to maintain the safety of their family.

Funder

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.