The Truth is Powerful
Burned Out by COVID Caregiving, Health Care Workers Say It’s Time to Fix the System. Is Anyone Listening?
Working in medicine has always been stressful, but the chaos of the pandemic pushed everyone from doctors to nurses aides to the breaking point. Now, health-care staffers and experts are sounding the alarm so it doesn’t happen again.
So begins an oncology nurse’s account of life in a hospital that’s losing staff, where in the scramble for beds, someone with fever, cough, and shortness of breath lands in a unit occupied by immunocompromised patients. It’s enough to bring the frustrated RN to tears. “My anxiety is high, my mental health is in the toilet. I hope and pray we never have to live through a time like this again.”
In a different hospital, another nurse, already on edge, braces for the next wave of illness: “I’m trying to mentally prepare myself. But my heart is broken at how broken the system is right now.”
These insider confessions, plucked from a digital bulletin board, reveal what it is to be in nursing during the COVID era. Nurses are “angry,” “stressed,” and “exhausted.” They’re afraid of exposing family members to the virus. They’re frustrated that some patients, even “on their own death beds, unable to breathe,” remain in denial about the existence and severity […]