Healthcare professionals experience zoom fatigue as demand for telehealth increases

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – It’s no secret that doctors and nurses face extreme fatigue as we approach two years after the start of this pandemic.

8 News has now brought you a story about longer emergency room wait times on Wednesday, and now we’re seeing yet another problem, an unprecedented demand for telemedicine.

Doctors see patients in emergency rooms who don’t need to be there, or patients who use telemedicine when they should see a doctor in person.

The idea of ​​communicating with your doctor from the comfort of your home sounds very appealing, but this convenience has led doctors to experience what one might describe as “zoom fatigue”.

“I’m overwhelmed with patients all the time, with people needing to step in on urgent and routine matters, it’s really an uninterrupted influx of patients,” said Dr. Alexandria Lightning, owner of Lightening Medical.

Dr. Lightning works 40 hours a week seeing patients in person, then adds another 30 hours of telehealth appointments.

“They stay consistent with everyone making an appointment every 20 minutes,” she said. “There is no place to stop.”

Dr. Lightning can see up to 10 telehealth patients per night across Nevada.

However, Dr Lightning said most of her telehealth patients have conditions that warrant an in-person visit so she can examine them properly.

“We want to use all of our senses and all of our resources to treat a person, and it best fits an in-person visit,” said Dr. Lightning.

Mental health professionals are also grappling with an overload of telehealth patients.

“In most cases, we’re packed to the brim,” said Lakiesha Oliver, clinician at Solutions of Change.

Oliver said the pandemic has caused many mental health needs and most therapists are doing their best to accommodate patients.

“We also have to think about the mental well-being of our clinicians, there are people who are overworked,” Oliver said.

According to Dr. Lightning, there are solutions to the high demand for telemedicine. We can help alleviate some of the load on local emergency rooms and telehealth professionals if we are set up with a primary care physician, that way conditions do not worsen and lead to a visit to the emergency room.

Telehealth is the best solution for simpler needs such as prescription refills. When it comes to seeking mental health help, the waiting list could be long, but Olivier said joining support groups in the meantime could be your next best avenue.

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