In this episode, we would like to talk about what it is like nursing during the era of COVID-19. These are challenging times for most nurses, here is our story during the pandemic.
One of the most difficult aspects of caring for patients with COVID-19 is that we can’t just walk in and chit-chat the way we used to. About 90% of patients are intubated barely holding on to life in the ICU. It takes the human experience out of nursing when you can’t interact with your patient. It is such a positive experience when your intubated patient finally is able to follow commands like nodding their head to questions or squeezing your hand. Our patients rely on us for human interaction, too. And even that is super-limited now.
Talking points in the episode
- How COVID-19 felt like a science experiment at first. We didn’t know how to treat it. The research studies were done on patients basically and we were part of it. Having patients on ECMO, so you need heparin for anticoagulation that causes low platelets. We were doing so much oral care, to prevent pneumonia, that we caused bleeding out of their mouth. So we just had to place towels around their mouth to catch it from going down their neck. I can make peace with what I have seen. But for some nurses that’s screaming PTSD for fuck sakes.
- Doesn’t feel like the government helped the frontline warriors one bit. We have been understaffed, undersupplied this whole pandemic.
- Talk about Facetiming with family.
- Talk about how busy it is. Managing ECMO, CRRT, Ventilator, all while changing your patients a few times a shift, and soiling dressing with COVID butt.
- Nurses’ emotional well-being is being challenged like never before by coronavirus, so finding coping strategies is essential
- Anxiety about patients, the possibility of infecting family members and the financial impact of the pandemic are still being felt by many nurses
- Eight in ten nurses in a Nursing Standard survey said their mental health has been affected by COVID-19.
- Injuries at work from bad posture, limited space between medical devices.
- Imagine being a nurse and having two patients die on you in one hour? What is nursing dark humor? He’s the grim reaper.
- A Lot of nurses don’t feel support from management.
- “Just imagine having to make decisions every day on whether you’re going to fulfill your professional obligation to care for patients versus sacrificing your personal safety or even that of your family because you’re in a situation where you don’t have adequate resources.” From NBC News.
- “We didn’t sign up to be sacrificial lambs. We didn’t sign up to fight a deadly disease without adequate resources,” she said. “We’re told we’re soldiers. Well, you don’t send soldiers to war without a gun and expect them to do their job, but you are doing that to us.” From NBC News.