Associate Professor, Eastern Kentucky University; Owner/CEO Community Paramedic Solutions Community Paramedic Solutions, LLC Russell Springs, Kentucky
Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event that continues to threaten the short and long-term mental wellbeing of the EMS workforce in Kentucky and the United States. In ordinary circumstances, emergency medical personnel are at risk of psychological impact from work-related stress and exposures. However, in the context of COVID-19, did it really get worse? How much worse? In April of 2020, the Kentucky Board of EMS and Eastern Kentucky University engaged in a joint, IRB approved project to assess the impact of COVID-19 on key mental health outcomes that put providers at risk for PTSD - severity of depression, severity of anxiety, quality of sleep, and feelings of resilience. The purpose of this presentation is to review the collective findings of this data, discuss implications for the EMS workforce, and offer resources to improve outcomes.
Review risk factors for PTSD
Consider the results of the Kentucky data
Discuss implications of this data on the larger EMS population
Apply strategies to improve mental health outcomes