Health care workers

13 Apr 2020

What health care workers say about the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic

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Across the world, health care workers mobilize to treat patients suffering from the novel coronavirus. However, many of them are doing so without adequate supplies and equipment. Here’s what they have to say about the extremely heartbreaking situation. To avoid reprisal, we will not tell their names. 

A nurse says that “The number of COVID-19 patients we are getting is rapidly increasing every day” and her team is worried “about what will happen as it gets worse if this is where we are starting,”. A doctor reported that “some health care workers did not want to eat or drink for 12 hours because they were scared to take off and put on the same PPE (personal protective equipment)”. As we were saying, the situation is severe. Continue to read what more professionals have to say!

Health care workers
Medical workers in protective suits move a patient at an isolated ward of a hospital in Wuhan. (Source: CNN)

Reports of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

It is hard to see the toll the coronavirus takes on families who are unable to visit their loved ones in the hospital.  According to a nurse, “It’s extremely heartbreaking for the families of these patients to have to stay at home.” It is hard to see someone you love fighting to live and do nothing about it.

Availability of portable oxygen tanks

A physician also said the availability of portable oxygen tanks is a concern. Health care workers are living in a “constant state of paranoia” according to a nurse. The professional reported that they do not know if they have the virus. Thus, they are super scared to transmit it to someone else.”

Another nurse gave an important testimony. “I cry for my coworkers”, she says. The reason for doing this is the fact that they know it will get worse. Even if this is not the case, the professionals already feel like they are already at their breaking point. “I cry for the parents, children, siblings, spouses who cannot be with their loved ones who may be dying but can’t have visitors because there is no visiting allowed.”

The danger of the intubation procedure

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Intubation, a doctor said, is considered a high-risk procedure. This is so because the doctors are very close to the patient’s mouth.  While placing the tube, they might cough up secretions which releases the virus into the air we breathe. If they are sick, they might get sick and infect more healthy people.

“What’s very devastating for me is some people we know will not survive,” he added. According to the doctor, since they’re not allowed to have visitors, he “may be the last face they see and voice they hear”. The last dialogue will happen as the health worker put someone to sleep (general anesthesia), prior to being on a ventilator.

A doctor also said: “I don’t have the support that I need, and even just the materials that I need physically to take care of my patients, and it’s America and we’re supposed to be a first-world country.”

Health care workers who fight against the coronavirus do not want to cause panic. However, these testimonies make us even more aware of our duty to adopt protective actions and social isolation.

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