June 21, 2024


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Behind the mental health crisis in nursing: Testimonial from a Californian travel nurse


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Registered nurse Bryan Hofilena attaches a “COVID Patient” sticker on a body bag of a affected person who died of coronavirus at Providence Holy Cross Clinical Heart in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. (AP Image/Jae C. Hong)

Past week’s tragic suicide of a nurse at a Kaiser clinic in Santa Clara, California, has highlighted the weighty psychological burdens which have been put on health care workers for much more than two a long time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The escalating psychological health disaster between overworked and traumatized health care workers is reflected in the mass exodus of nurses from the profession.

Olivia, a California intensive treatment unit (ICU) travel nurse whose title has been changed to safeguard her identity, has put in the past two many years of the pandemic in some of the most more than-stressed areas across the condition.

“I’ve viewed pics of me from a extensive time ago. I’m delighted,” she reported. “That human being is no a lot more.

“We’ve been beneath a good deal of pressure. I cannot assume straight. I have publish-traumatic strain disorder (PTSD). I have stress and anxiety. I can scarcely leave my home. I have an 8-calendar year-previous I have to care for.”

Olivia described how Particular Protective Products (PPE) was rationed at the beginning of the pandemic, “They [hospitals] locked the N95 masks. They would only give you one particular.”

“In the commencing, nurses have been the only types likely into the COVID rooms with an iPad so the health care provider can chat to them….They experimented with to inform us not to dress in N95s at the starting. They told us to wear bandanas. Some nurses had to have on the exact same N95 for a thirty day period doing work with COVID individuals. They would not even permit us provide our individual equipment. I claimed, ‘Now people are dropping lifeless around me and you just cannot give me an N95. If you really do not want to give me a mask, I’m heading dwelling. Our complete occupation, we have been advised to only have on an N95 as soon as. You experienced a TB individual, you place it on after.’

“I felt like they were seeking to destroy us. We’re disposable. We don’t make any difference, we are rubbish. Nurses in Oakland had to use rubbish baggage for isolation gowns. They experienced to get the job done on their have staff members who died of COVID. I never got COVID and I’m extremely grateful for that. People today about me received it and obtained ill.”

‘It’s not my work to die. You send out firemen with oxygen and their equipment. You send us practically nothing. It’s like you gave me a rock and a adhere and sent me into war and envisioned me to be tranquil.’


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