April 16th, 2020


I work the Covid 19 floor in the ICU, along with other ICU nurses, and the biggest challenge is the lack of N95 masks and hospitals not allowing nurses to use PAPR masks for patients with secretions and also the risk nurses are in, with the use of aerosols and nebulizers and high Flo oxygen, which spreads droplet infection. A lot of ventilators in the USA also have external humidifiers versus built in humidifiers which you get in Europe and other countries. We need to urge hospitals to get sterilization machines for the N95 masks because masks are designed to be one time use, so as healthcare workers we are spreading N95 throughout the hospital, to each other and to other patients and also out families, because we are told to take the N95 masks home in a bag and reuse them. The hospitals keep changing the guidelines on Covid in order to save money. Nurses are the lowest common denominator because they are the highest labor cost. If a doctor asks for an N95 he gets one and throws it away after use. Nurses need to unite and get N95 masks as we are the ones in the patient room for the longest, and we need the protection the most. Sterilization machines like bottle washers seem to be available. Why can't hospitals buy those and sterilize the masks. Also we need local manufacturing plants for PPE so America can be more prepared. We need to become more proactive and less reactive. Perhaps less data capturing and more thinking.

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Comments (1)

Comments (1)

Heartbreaking: "Nurses are the lowest common denominator because we are the higher labor cost." I am trying with my writing to change that perception, to make people see nurses' value. The general public is getting it with all the coverage of nurses due to covid, but administrators seem to not understand how important nurses are to quality patient care. That is, to whether patients live or die. Wish I could to more to help you. Love the idea of "less data capturing and more thinking." Well said.

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