What is it about?
Women, on average, spend three times on the amount of time performing childcare duties than men. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the working of schools and day care centers. This means that parents, especially mothers, have had to find alternative options for childcare. 75% of all health care workers (HCWs) are women. As the pandemic continues, HCWs are facing more stress at work. They also must balance this with their increased childcare needs at home. The authors of this study point out that this balancing act is having a bad effect on female HCWs. It has increased their levels of depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and distress. Finally, the authors stress the importance of childcare support from governments and healthcare organizations to help HCWs.
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Why is it important?
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were a lot of gender inequalities in the world. The situation has gotten worse since the pandemic began. The higher childcare burden is not only limiting career growth of women but also forcing many women to give up their careers altogether. Moreover, we are relying on our HCWs to help us and our families through the pandemic. It is difficult for them to do their jobs if the stress of balancing work and childcare are making them depressed and anxious. Governments and healthcare organizations need to step up and support women HCWs by providing childcare or financial support for childcare. Otherwise, there will be very big problems for families, science and medicine, and society in the future. KEY TAKEAWAY: The pandemic has made it harder for female HCWs to access and afford childcare. That is placing a lot of stress on them and affecting their mental health. Governments and healthcare organizations should increase childcare support.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Who Is Caring for Health Care Workers’ Families Amid COVID-19?, Academic Medicine, February 2021, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1097/acm.0000000000004022.
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How did COVID-19 affect the mental health of nursing staff ?
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How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected nurses’ wellbeing?
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How COVID-19 has impacted diverse groups of people
The study found that women are more likely to miss work owing to COVID-19 than men. Immigrants faced bigger roadblocks and financial difficulties than native-born people.
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