The Dangers for Healthcare Workers

Working in the healthcare field has given me a new perspective on the challenges that healthcare workers are facing. For a year and a half I worked as a nurses aide or as the hospital refers to us personal care aides. During that time I was exposed to many different illnesses and yes I have seen it all. I have seen people get intubated and I have watched a few cling to life. I have entered the rooms of dying patients, have cared for patients with Cdiff and airbourne illnesses. When entering isolation rooms one has to wear personal protective equipment. That consists of a special yellow or blue gown, a surgical masks and of course gloves. Though some not always abide by the rules it a rule put in place for not only our safety but the safety of other patients. After all who wants to run the risk of passing Cdiff or MRSA on to some other patient. Which is why washing ones hands and using hand sanitizer is a must. However, now as we face the horrifying crisis that is COVID-19 I have found that my fellow co-workers have been placed in a dangerous position. More dangerous then they have ever faced before. After speaking to some friends of mine who are nurses in the critical care units I have discovered that they not only have a shortage on masks and personal protective equipment but also ventilators. That is a dangerous thing as this virus is airborne and very contagious. Nurses and aides should be protected but are lacking the equipment they need. The only masks that works to protect one against getting COVID-19 is n95 masks and those are masks that nurses are severely lacking. Without those masks they are susceptible to the virus. That causes a major problem as if nurses, aides and doctors were to become infected it would leave the patients in dire need of care. Many in my community are stepping up to make handmade n95 masks to distribute the hospitals in our area. Many are banding together to try and help the healthcare professionals to stay safe and have the safe equipment. While the shortage in ventilators remains a huge concern one can only pray that these hospitals will be able to get what they need in order to care for someone with the virus.

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Destiny Pifer

Destiny Pifer

Destiny Pifer is a published author who is currently a contributor for Pandemic Diaries. Her work has also appeared in various anthologies.