The importance of healthcare workers is now more evident than ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the long, emotional, and unpredictable days, healthcare workers across the globe continue to use all their strength to protect communities against the pandemic. They are putting their health at risk to help patients recover from the virus. While these workers are protecting us the best they can from the pandemic, there are ways we can help.

Requests for Personal Protective Equipment are spreading, and a donation, no matter how small, can add up to make a difference. Contacting the state’s local Office of Emergency Management is recommended as they help coordinate contributions on behalf of health care providers throughout states and are best equipped to organize these efforts.

Staying aware of what the situation is on local COVID-19 outbreaks helps everyone know how safe it is for us to go out in public. Regardless, adhering to the guidelines of social distancing protects the community for creating a situation that puts our healthcare workers at risk. The last thing we want to do is put more of a strain on hospitals than they already feel.

One of the most significant challenges healthcare workers are facing is the surge of patients that need critical care, the availability of staff, and space to take care of patients. Many of these patients come in through the ER. One way we can help healthcare workers is to avoid unnecessary trips to the ER; this will free up workers and space to take care of others with higher needs.

Making donations to your local hospital is easy, and one of the most effective ways to help health care workers during this pandemic. Not-for-profit hospitals do have their own Foundation and some local COVID-19 relief fund; you can still donate to a hospital that means the most to you.

Calling urgent care and primary care offices before going in helps healthcare workers prepare for potential exposure to COVID-19 and protect patients from unnecessary exposure. Many primary care physicians and specialists can provide video visits for patients, especially for routine appointments. Video visits help reduce healthcare workers’ exposure to COVID-19.

Many healthcare workers are working overtime while sharing the same struggles everyone else has, like getting necessary food and supplies. If you know any healthcare workers, reaching out to show share thanks and offer support goes a long way. It means a lot and shows that you are thinking of them while they risk their health.

Healthcare workers are going through long days at hospitals and putting themselves at risk-taking care of patients with COVID-19. Whether it’s donating PPE or money, taking steps to limit exposure, or showing support is one of many ways for us to help them out.