Coronavirus is not going away anytime soon. Health care workers are already exhausted. How will the U.S. maintain a medical workforce over the long term?  There is no plan in place. Hospitals started reorganizing and developing virus infection protocols weeks ago. Most health care workers have been in PPE for weeks. They are wearing masks, goggles, face shields, gloves for their whole shift. Many nurses work twelve-hour shifts.  Anxiety levels are ...

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As of this moment, 40,265 Americans have died. They loved their families and friends. They had hopes and dreams. They were moms and dads, daughters and sons, grandmas, and grandpas. They meant something to somebody. Their deaths are barely acknowledged by anyone. They exist as statistics. This is a frightening time we live in. We are in survival mode.  Our world has become very small. We cling to our immediate family. ...

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Webster's Dictionary defines trauma as a "disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe emotional stress." An article in MarketWatch describes the reality of a doctor after being on the frontlines in Wuhan for two months:

Li is mentally and psychologically at a loss for what to do next. He can't sleep or eat, he often feels dazed, and sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, he weeps.
Nurses have described ...

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Nurses are not getting the protection they need to care for COVID patients, and no one seems to care. Where is the outrage? Nurses are at the COVID patients' bedside 24/7. We all know the medical staff is not wearing the proper gear at all. If supplies were adequate and protocols were being followed,  they would be wearing N95 masks or PAPRs. If they do have N95s, they are being told ...

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I am 64 years old. I was a nurse for 34 years, retiring a year, and three months ago, I worked on the medical-surgical floor, ICU, and the last 30 years, in the emergency room. I retired because I'd had enough. This year has changed me. My life no longer revolves around my ER job. I am not exhausted from 12-hour shifts, taking at least a day to recover. I no ...

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There was a very interesting op-ed in the New York Times recently.  It describes using an aeromedical evacuation system to transfer coronavirus patients to other cities around the United States. There are hospitals sitting idle right now. There is talk of layoffs in some places. Elective surgeries and procedures have been canceled. People are not clogging up ERs with small complaints like they usually do.  So staffs ...

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Nurses are responsible for patient care. They are the ones at the bedside 24/7. There is no one who spends more time with individual patients. They are the ones most in danger in the coronavirus pandemic. The news gets grimmer every day about the inevitable surge coming across the country. Forecast of death tolls in the 100,000 to 200,000 range, if not higher, is terrifying.  If the death toll is that ...

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Maybe this sounds dramatic, but the coronavirus is like a war.  The soldiers are health care workers. The enemy is the virus. The battlefield is the hospitals.  We are finding out that life can turn on a dime. I found that out 30 years ago in August 1990.  Iraq invaded Kuwait. I knew as soon as they started deploying troops to Saudi Arabia that I would be going. By the end ...

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Health care workers will face some very difficult decisions in the days ahead.  The decision: Am I willing to take care of coronavirus patients without proper protection? This is a very personal dilemma. Everyone who goes into any part of medicine is there to help people. That's what they do. They do it under very stressful conditions most of the time. It's part of the job.  They accept it. They can ...

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I wish that I didn't have the experience of working 34 years as a nurse. I know the big picture in a hospital. A recent article stated that the Twin Cities, where I live, has 500 ICU beds, 450 ventilators. As of last Friday, those were 95 percent full. Apparently, there are new CDC guidelines stating that healthcare workers can wear surgical masks when N95 masks are not available, but the ...

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It’s a cliché but the horse is out of the barn. There is no doubt that coronavirus is widespread in the United States and the situation is getting worse. No one -- not the government, not hospitals -- are addressing the elephant in the room. There are not enough nurses to care for a worsening coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. With decreased reimbursement, hospitals run a tight ship. Hospitals don’t even ...

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