RN, Surgical Services Lead
My biggest challenge has been advocating for the appropriate PPE for myself and coworkers. It is very disconcerting to go against everything we have been taught about infection control, to see other nations using more protective PPE, and to have our CDC change the recommended guidelines for PPE based on what is "available" versus what we know we need to keep us and our patients safe. I am apalled that I have had to argue for an N95 mask and the little brown paper bag to keep it in to reuse on ALL patients. I am afraid for my family (that I might bring it home to them), afraid for my coworkers, and a little bit afraid of what this is going to look like on the other side of this mess. I am frightened that we are not providing the best care for the patients, that the MDs may not know the best course of treatment.
I can't say I've gained a lot of knowledge as much as I can say that my eyes have been opened. We have to have a pandemic watch group on a national level- never to be disbanded again. They need to be able to respond quickly and internationally. Pandemics are the new normal. Our world is much smaller and wide open. We will be facing this again.
Government officials and their families should not be able to profit from medical resources (ie covid19 tests)- laws are in place to prevent MDs and other medical professionals from choosing profit over patients/public best interests (sunshine laws, etc.).
Our healthcare systems can not depend on the government to supply us in a national emergency. The only way I can see to address this issue is to have durable, reusable, PPE. We are unbelievably wasteful, both economically and environmentally.
We need to have the ability to shut the nation/ individual states and cities down with out all the political infighting- perhaps have the CDC have the power to shelter in place. We reacted way too slowly and did not learn from the other countries facing the same crisis.
These are just some of the thoughts that have been running riot in my head over the last 2 months. I have lost a lot of faith in both the general public and in my government that common sense and common decency will prevail.
Watch the nurse's union in California and President Duncan fighting for PPE. In Indiana, ISNA greatest accomplishment was stopping vet techs from being called nurses. Nurses have to stand together and collectively bargain, our patient's health and our own depend on it.
Thanks for joining the conversation and sharing your experience and ideas. I couldn't agree with you more, especially about the need for durable, reusable PPE that can be sterilized. What do you think needs to change to make your ideas a reality?