I am scared. If I cannot get PPE I will still have to do my job. I feel nurses have been seen as disposable. A fireman would not be sent into a fire without his equipment. We are human beings, not machines. Employers need to start putting safety first and not just patient safety. Employees need to be protected. I feel that it has always been ok with employers to not provide adequate PPE and to turn a blind eye because it costs money. This has to change. Slips, trips, and falls and back injuries are not the only things to protect employees from. We need protection from exposure. Who would want to go into nursing now? After they have seen what the reality is? The dirty little secret that nurses know and have known for a long time, that we have to SAVE on PPE because there is never enough- well now the secret is out. It has to change.
The problem of dispensability and proper compensation for healthcare workers especially nurses is pervasive across the country. I have done a number of travel positions in numerous states and have noticed this everywhere. This problem makes me question nursing as a career for myself. When others tell me they are considering going into nursing I make sure they understand what it is really like. I wonder what can be done about this issue, as it was present before the pandemic. Getting to the source of the problem of why this has occurred with nursing is one place to start. However, enacting any change appears that it must either happen at a hospital level or by national policies.