NUrs Leslie McCarney walks the door in a 16-hour shift, to skip lunch, to take off all her clothes in the laundry, and to shower at night as she does to avoid potentially infecting her children , Used. That too, Kovid patients, who often arrive at the emergency room, become so accustomed to shortness of breath that they struggle to describe their symptoms.
But despite the trauma and exhaustion of the last eight months, she was surprised when North Dakota Governor Doug Bergam said last week that health workers who test positive for coronovirus, but do not display symptoms, still continue to work. Can report for The order, which is in line with CDC guidance to reduce staffing, will only allow asymptomatic health workers who test positive to work in Kovid units, and treat patients who already have the virus is.
But many people feel that this idea puts workers and their allies in danger. It comes as North Dakota faces one of the worst outbreaks of Kovid-19 and suffers from a shortage of healthcare staff.
“We’re worried about someone dying, clearly, because we couldn’t get them on time,” said Macarney, an emergency room nurse from Bismarck.
According to data from the Kovid Tracking Project, more than 9,400 northern bandits tested positive for Kovid-19 last week alone. About one in 12 North Dakota residents have been infected with the virus; Almost one in 1,000 have died. In early November, the North Dakota Department of Health reported that there were only 12 open ICU beds in the entire state.
McCarney said Bergam’s order is against everything he taught as a nurse.
“If hospital administrators start forcing Kovid-positive employees to go to work, it’s going to be very scary. We have been trained to do no harm, and telling Kovid-positive, asymptomatic nurses to return to work is putting patients at risk. This is putting fellow employees in danger. “
Nine months into the epidemic, it is clear that health workers are already facing increased risks. Lost on Frontline, a joint effort of the Guardian and Kaiser Health News, is investigating the deaths of 1,375 health workers who have appeared as Kovid-19 deaths since the onset of the epidemic. About one third Those health workers were nurses.
McCarney described long shifts in an emergency room that has begun taking patients overnight because other wards in the hospital did not have the ability to accept them. Nurses pick up the extra shift for colleagues who have become ill and carry many serious patients simultaneously.
This is a scene in hospitals across the country that spreads to the coronovirus. By 16 November, more than 11 million people in the United States had become infected with the virus, with health officials reporting 180,000 new infections in a single day. And the country is poised for another milestone: it will soon surpass a quarter million deaths from Kovid-19.
Healthcare workers are overwhelmed and tired. According to a recent survey by National Nurses United, more than 70% of hospital nurses said they were afraid of contracting Kovid-19 and 80% feared they might infect a family member. More than half stated that they were struggling to sleep and 62 felt stress and anxiety. About 80% said they were forced to re-use single-use, PPE like N95 MPs.
Inaction at the state and federal levels has left many health workers. When Governor Bergam issued an order that infected but asymptomatic nurses could report to work in Kovid units, North Dakota did not enforce any statewide mandate, despite expert guidance, from such a measure as the virus. Transmission can be significantly reduced.
Tessa Johnson is a registered nurse at Bismarck Nursing Home and president of the North Dakota Nurses Association, which on Wednesday issued a statement denying Bergam’s order that infected nurses continue to work.
He said that the state could do a lot to ensure that patients were not infected for the first time. “We have called and asked for a masked mandate, and it has not happened,” he said on Thursday.
On Friday night, Bergam almost did a face-off and issued a mask mandate, ordering individuals to cover their faces inside indoor businesses public settings and outdoor public settings where physical disturbances may be impossible.
“Our doctors and nurses need our help while working heroically on the front lines, and they need it right now,” he said in a press statement.
Still, Johnson said there is a disconnect between what healthcare workers are experiencing inside North Dakota’s health facilities, and how the general population perceives the virus. And also that before Bergam’s comments, some of his colleagues felt that he had to choose between all precautions and limited time. “One of my closest friends, also a healthcare worker, said to me the other day, ‘There is no way I would ever get tested unless I am very sick, because I don’t want to use my paid leave Wanted. “
ER nurse Macarney said she did not have time to relieve the stress of the past several months. She focuses on staying healthy, gearing up for what she anticipates will be a difficult winter, and keeping her patients alive. “We are ready to break our back and physically work as hard as we can,” Macarney said. “But then asking us to come in as a potentially infectious source, is just amazing.”