“I’m sorry to tell you that your Mom passed away.”
To people who work in the hospitals right now, this phrase is being used frequently, multiple times in a 12 hour shift.
This is how it usually goes…
8:00PM – you will receive a call from the daughter of your 87 year old patient asking how is Mom doing. And you will tell her – “oh she is doing fine her oxygen saturation is stable right now, breathing okay, she ate her dinner in fact.”
11:30PM – Then now you have to call the daughter to tell her, “I’m sorry to tell you that your Mom passed away.”
Yep, Covid 19 patients are very unstable. One moment they are perfectly well, the next hour they can be crashing and you are coding.
As a nurse you won’t be able to tell the daughter the detailed story how the whole team did everything to save Mom’s life, because it is traumatizing and horrifying. And the ugly truth is because NO ONE actually understands 100% COVID 19 is.
To some people COVID 19 is their usual flu, to some people it is a death sentence. To some survivors it is a disease that damages their heart, lungs and brain that will manifest in the near or far future.
Hi, I am a Filipino Nurse working in a Covid Unit in Miami, Florida – the new epicenter of COVID 19 in the world. Our cases is more than any other countries in the world, and we are just a state. Our state has no mask mandate and we are open for business. Some teenagers are having this Covid parties to intentionally infect other young people. And these young people will come home, will infect daddy or mommy then daddy or mommy will die. This is real story.
As a nurse in a Covid unit there’s one thing that we are thankful of – we still have a job. We can still provide for our families. The rest of the things I will tell you is the sad truth that not all people know.
In case you don’t know:
The N95 mask or the respirator that we are wearing is a tight fitting mask that leaves marks, blisters and wounds on our nose bridge – because we have to wear them straight 8 hours, 12 hours, 16 hours.
At some point we have to recycle our masks that are supposed to be disposable. Nurses from both First World Countries and Third World Countries are doing this. Using the same mask for weeks.
It can get really hot inside our PPE suits or gowns, we literally sweat. Were so thirsty and can’t drink because we can’t get out of our PPE as much as we want. We only have limited opportunity to drink and pee.
Healthcare workers are also getting infected, and some of them are dying. Also their family members are getting infected too. I heard these stories multiple times, from my personal experience, from real people that I actually know.
We are being pushed to our limits, because there are only few of us and more and more people are needing hospital beds. We have to take more patients that we are supposed to. Nurses that don’t have critical care training are forced to take care of critical care patients.
The cherry on top – aside from the physical exhaustion, our mental and emotional well being is fucked up. How long can we endure watching people dying like flies? You know what hurts me the most, spending hours in Covid 19 patients’ room- holding their hands, rubbing their hair, whispering prayers to them, telling them that they will be okay, not minding if I will get infected too, then the next day I will receive news that those patients died. This cycle goes on and on and on.
The difference between a soldier and a nurse, a soldier signed up to be in a war and expect to kill (if needed) and be killed at some point. As nurses we signed up to save lives, and were not expected to die. However in this Covid War – we are trying to save lives with the fear that we are the next person to die on that same hospital bed – only time will tell.
So to those people that refuse to wear mask, refuse to social distance, refuse to follow stay home orders, refuse to listen to healthcare workers, people that believe that Covid 19 is not real – you guys are the reason of our high death rate. You take this pandemic so lightly, because you don’t see how these patients in hospitals are begging for their life, both young and old. You are only asked to do very basic simple things, that can literally save billions of lives.
Why the hell should we continue doing bedside nursing?
Why be a nurse when people disrespect us, when people are ungrateful, when people are not willing to cooperate and help us do our job?
We are tempted multiple times to just walk away and fuck it, I’m done. We all feel the same. But we stayed. We keep on coming to work. We keep on caring, and risking our lives for our patients.
Unconsciously these years of giving direct care to patients, slowly our genetic makeup is being altered making us selfless human beings. Normally people are selfish by nature, but we are more than normal, we are kinda abnormal. Caring is in our DNA, and that makes us different and special. That’s the reason why we stayed.
Keep the fire burning. To some people we don’t deserve any respect, but to our patients we are the only ones they have during this difficult times. We are strangers to our patients, but our hands are the only hands they can hold, our voice is the only voice that can calm their fear of death, and unfortunately we can be the last person to pray for them on their demise.
To my fellow nurses around the world, take care of yourselves and your family. We already gave too much to humanity. We deserve some respect. We deserve to live. We are no sacrificial lambs, we are Essential. NO ESSENTIAL WORKER SHOULD DIE AT ALL COST.