An Indiana nurse who preferred to stay anonymous submitted a lengthy and thought provoking letter to a local news station that paints a distressing image of what it’s really like working in a COVID-19 unit. The nurse, who noted that she works at Community North Hospital, described in detail the unimaginable challenges that medical professionals face during this time, according to WTHR.
The letter, which was submitted on March 30, is written by a nurse whose unit is right on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic as they treat those who have already tested positive for COVID-19 as well as those who could possibly have it and are awaiting their test results.
She describes how major hospital safety procedures have drastically changed in recent weeks due to a shortage of protective resources. While only a month ago nurses would be granted a new face mask every time they would enter a patient’s hospital room, they are now given only one mask to use for an entire week. Thus, they are using the same mask while likely treating several different patients. Although it was once a requirement for the nurses of this unit to wear shoe and hair covers as an added precaution, even that stipulation has been lifted. There are reportedly no longer enough of these resources to go around.
“While myself and other nurses are taking as many precautions that we are allowed, the morale around the hospital is permeable. I thankfully have a N95 mask of my own, but again I have to use it every shift with every patient,” she explained.
A particularly poignant part of the nurse’s letter describes their end-of-shift routine. Upon reaching the end of her shift, she strips off her scrubs and double bags them. She then changes into street clothes which she will then also strip out off immediately upon returning home. Those clothes will go into the washing machine and she will proceed to shower. She will need one more change of clothes before she finally greets her children.
“If the expectations continue to be increased as far as patient demand and corners continue to be cut for our safety and those of the next patient, I do not know if I can continue to risk my health and those of my family, for a company who thinks this is okay,” she ended the letter.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, shortages of protective gear at hospitals nationwide have become an increased concern. One New York nurse who allegedly did not have adequate safety gear recently died of the coronavirus.