The COVID-19 pandemic has left many healthcare workers morally wounded — here’s how we might care for them

Andrew Sloane
May 25, 2023

Andrew Sloane explains that as we return in a general sense to our new "normal" after the pandemic, for many healthcare workers the transition is not so simple and indeed is proving to be a traumatic process.

"The term “moral injury” was developed in military contexts to help clinicians understand the experience of veterans of recent conflicts. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while important, didn’t account for all their symptoms, nor did it provide an adequate framework for their treatment: the wounds left by war were not just physical and psychological, they were moral and spiritual. The category “moral injury” was developed by those caring for troubled veterans in an attempt to address these invisible wounds — wounds that arise from witnessing or perpetrating acts that conflict with deeply held internalised moral beliefs and values.

Those caring for troubled healthcare workers are coming to see that what they’re dealing with goes beyond stress and burnout. Healthcare workers may be struggling to come to terms with moral injury."

Image: Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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