Thousands of healthcare workers have been using private online documents to share their stories related to Coronavirus which turned US hospitals into a war zone. Since the COVID-19 disease has claimed several lives including, healthcare staffs and doctors, many hospital employees talked about being scared to go to work and have developed a fear that they will be infected by the deadly virus.
But one of the healthcare staffs from New Jersey said that despite the fear "we show up and have to keep showing up... and we have to test ourselves." The nurse also revealed the risk associated with the poor condition of the hospital.
The 34-year-old nurse who is studying as a doctoral student, Sonja Schwartzbach created an online document and said that she started compiling the accounts after she determined that hospital conditions were "far worse" than most people realized. She asked contributors to speak up anonymously so that they could be safe from losing their jobs.
At the top of the document, Schwartzbach wrote, "This isn't a polite request: This is an urgent demand. Tell me your story. Share your situations. I understand that it can feel challenging to be candid as a health care provider, but this is the difference between life and death."
Unveiling the truth of healthcare sector
The Google document, "Covid-19: Mission for Masks" was created by the nurse after fielding hundreds of messages from nurses and physicians on Instagram. The contributors pointed out challenges which they are facing in US hospitals and among them, the biggest issues are lack of equipment and N95 masks for doctors and nurses.
Many contributors said that they are asked to clean masks and then wear it again for another few days, while some of them mentioned that they were told to cover their mouths with bandannas or coffee filters.
As reported by the New York Times a nurse in California revealed that "We are being called to jeopardize our own health and safety to treat our community. It is disgusting. I wish more attention would be given to us on the front lines and the situation we face. We live in the richest country in the world and yet we don't have the tools to perform our job safely. This virus is terrifying."
It should be noted that as per the report among 1.253 respondents, around 55 percent said that they were caring for patients infected by Coronavirus, while 26 percent revealed that they were not sure whether their patients are COVID-19 positive or not. They also mentioned that at the healthcare centres they have to reuse the gowns and gloves which could pose a serious threat to the people admitted in the intensive care units.
A Pennsylvania nurse who is working in a pediatric ICU said that the healthcare staffs had received an email where the authority asked them not to remove gloves when in a room if they get soiled, but to use sanitizers over the gloves. It also added that "You also have to keep the same surgical mask on the entire shift. You only get an N95 if certain procedures are being done that would produce aerosols. This is absolutely unacceptable and puts all the staff, other patients and my family at high risk."
As per the report, a New York nurse also said that the hospital where she is working, currently overloaded and allowing patients more than it can handle. It should be mentioned that New York State Governor Andrew M Cuomo said the state would require up to 140,000 hospital beds in addition to the 53,000 now available.