Working the front lines is taking its toll on New Jersey’s health care providers

New Jersey’s health care providers are hard at work caring for thousands of people sick with COVID-19 – and some experts say that it is taking its toll.

News 12 Staff

Apr 4, 2020, 1:58 AM

Updated 1,475 days ago

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New Jersey’s health care providers are hard at work caring for thousands of people sick with COVID-19 – and some experts say that it is taking its toll.
They are the people that many of us turn to for help. But Dr. Anthony Tasso says that it is OK for first responders and health care workers to acknowledge that they may need help too.
“Being brave, wanting to tackle these things, devoting your life and career and tons of training to address these issues and also being fearful at times – they are not mutually exclusive,” Tasso says.
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Tasso says that those on the front lines of the pandemic are not immune to feelings of worriedness, isolation or helplessness. He says that it is important that they are aware of their emotions.
“Whatever they’re feeling, they should allow themselves to feel it,” he says. “Pay attention to what you are feeling and realize that that is not static. That will change from moment to moment.”
Tasso also adds that they should know when to talk about it. They should engage with others – while social distancing – even if that means using technology to do so. Supervisors, mental health professionals and even co-workers can help lend support.
“Cohesion goes a long way, so for the co-workers to be able to realize that they’re in this together…to be able to discuss that with the ones who are really going through it,” Tasso says.
Elizabeth Clemens of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says that there is an important way that friends and family can help those on the front lines as well.
"Creating that safe space to allow them to really open up to us about how they're feeling and what they're experiencing and what they're going through, is going to in turn make them feel better,” she says.
Clemens says that it is key for first responders and health care workers to stay connected to their loved ones.


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