Protecting the front line: the healthcare of health professionals

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Fernanda Clara da Silva, a student of the fourth period of Medicine in Rio Grande do Norte State University (UERN), Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has brought an enormous public health challenge worldwide. Allied to this, health institutions face new demands that affect health professionals on the front line of healthcare. Whether due to long working hours, physical and mental exhaustion, overload of tasks and even exposure to countless deaths and contaminated patients, this group deserves reflection, after all, how can we talk about health care without first taking care of the protagonists of this story?

Thus, it is necessary to talk about the working conditions that health professionals are subject to in the pandemic. In several countries, the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a reality that exposes job insecurity, fear of becoming infected and also, contaminating family members and colleagues outside the hospital environment. As a result, in addition to putting their own lives at risk, these professionals often lack training in protective measures and patient management, which puts them in the position to make difficult and decisive decisions without sufficient instruction. In addition, the current context has made visible the importance of humanization in health, since there is much talk now of the increase in cases of Bournot Syndrome, due precisely to this emotional and professional overload.

As a result of this lack of attention to health workers, the main force in coping with COVID-19, there is an increasing number of contagion and death of these professionals, with emphasis on doctors and nurses. It’s necessary to change this scenario and prevent those who take care being affected by insecurity, fear and even own death. The current world requires solidarity and support that should also be directed to these health workers, since without the effort and dedication of each one, it would not be possible to go through this situation. So why not save health workers lives and repay those who devote their lives to save us all with love and care?


Ministério da Saúde. Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ). Rede CoVida: Ciência, Informação e Solidariedade. A saúde dos profissionais de saúde no enfrentamento da pandemia de COVID-19. Maio de 2020. Available from: <;. Access on 20. Ago. 2020.

MIRANDA, F.M.D; SANTANA, L.L.; PIZZOLATO, A.C.; SAQUIS, L.M.M. Condições de trabalho e o impacto na saúde dos profissionais de enfermagem frente a Covid-19. Cogitare enferm [internet]; 25: e72702, 2020. Available from: <;. Access on 20. Ago. 2020.

TEIXEIRA, C.F.S. A saúde dos profissionais de saúde no enfrentamento da pandemia de Covid-19. Cien Saude Colet [internet] (2020/Jun). Available from: <;. Access on 20. Ago. 2020.

About the author

Fernanda Clara da Silva is a student of the fourth period of Medicine in Rio Grande do Norte State University (UERN). Vice president of the academic league of pathophysiology of clinical emergencies, Coordinator of the Elderly Health Incentive Group extension project, Local Secretary General (LSG) of the IFMSA Brazil UERN, Participant of the Collective Health Study Group. She believes in a world with medical students capable of transforming public health.

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