While the world has successfully moved into a post-pandemic era, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet ended. Granted, social distancing rules and regulations no longer exist, however, a very concerning phenomenon has emerged as the world continues moving forward: Long COVID.
The term refers to various lingering health complications and symptoms that persist for weeks, months, or even years after a person overcomes the initial COVID-19 infection. Due to its lasting impact on the health and well-being of people, Long COVID has garnered a lot of attention. As a nurse, you must equip yourself with a better understanding of this growing health concern. The better you understand it, the more you can help improve patient education and outcomes.
Today’s Fast CE for Less guide will explore what Long COVID is, its symptoms, impacts, and treatment to help you advance your knowledge of this phenomenon.
What Is Long COVID?
Long COVID is the name given to the range of symptoms that continue to persist after the initial infection has run its course in a patient. People infected with the COVID-19 virus typically recover fully within a few weeks of showing their first symptoms. However, countless people are reporting a prolonged illness characterized by several symptoms.
As with COVID-19, the symptoms for Long COVID vary drastically from one person to the next. The disease can impact several bodily functions and organs, resulting in Long COVID symptoms that include:
- Respiratory Symptoms: Persistent cough, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
- Fatigue and Malaise: Severe fatigue, weakness, and a general feeling of being unwell.
- Neurological Symptoms: Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and headaches.
- Muscle & Joint Pain: Persistent pain in muscles and joints.
- Cardiovascular Issues: Palpitations, chest pain, and heart-related symptoms.
- Gastrointestinal Problems: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
- Mental Health Impact: Anxiety, depression, and mood changes.
In addition to the above symptoms, the effects on olfactory nerves, which impacts the sense of taste and smell, has also been reported as a symptom of Long COVID. These symptoms significantly impact a person’s quality of life. For many, completing even the most routine tasks can be difficult.
Long COVID’s Effects on Health and Treatments
The effects of Long COVID on health can be debilitating and multifaceted. Individuals experiencing prolonged symptoms often face physical, emotional, and mental health challenges. The uncertainty surrounding the condition, coupled with the lack of definitive treatments, can add to the distress.
Treatment approaches for Long COVID focus on managing symptoms and supporting overall well-being. This may involve a multidisciplinary approach, including medication to alleviate specific symptoms, physical therapy to address muscle and joint issues, and mental health support to manage anxiety or depression.
However, due to the complexity and variability of Long COVID symptoms, tailored treatment plans are essential, and healthcare providers often employ a case-by-case approach to address individual needs.
Long COVID presents a complex and challenging scenario for individuals, healthcare providers, and society at large. Its diverse and lingering symptoms, the uncertainty surrounding its treatment, and the profound impact on employment highlight the need for continued research, comprehensive healthcare support, and workplace accommodations.
Addressing the multifaceted aspects of Long COVID requires a collaborative effort between healthcare professionals, policymakers, employers, and affected individuals. As a nurse, educating your patients on Long COVID can have a profound impact on improving health outcomes.
If the renewal period in your state is nearing and you are in need of nurse continuing education requirements, online nursing CEUs like those offered by Fast CE for Less provide an excellent solution. Tailored into affordable and flexible bundles, the nursing continuing education courses by Fast CE for Less can help you manage your busy schedule while fulfilling your continuing education requirements.
To access these affordable course bundles and expand your knowledge, visit www.fastceforless.com.