Sept. 20, 2021 -- Critical attraction caregiver Beth Wathen has been looking aft earnestly sick patients for 35 years. But thing could person prepared her for the past 18 months.
Wathen, who works successful the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit astatine Children’s Hospital Colorado, said it is intolerable to picture the overwhelming decease and despair she has seen since COVID-19 began to capable hospitals to the brim.
"It is hard to cognize conscionable however devastating this pandemic has been if you're not successful the ICU,” she says. “Seeing these mediocre patients dying without household astatine their bedside. Watching radical accidental goodbye to spouses FaceTime.”
“This full pandemic has been heartbreaking.”
The pandemic is taking adjacent much of a toll connected nurses than galore realize. In a caller survey, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recovered that retired of 6,000 captious attraction nurses surveyed, 66% person considered leaving their jobs due to the fact that of the pandemic.
Sixty-seven percent are acrophobic of putting their family’s wellness astatine risk, and 92% judge the pandemic volition shorten nurses’ careers. Of those surveyed, 76% judge patients who are unvaccinated undermine nurses’ carnal and intelligence well-being.
"We cognize that nurses are leaving successful grounds numbers now, but I was precise troubled by these numbers,” Wathen says. “They should beryllium concerning to everyone.”
The grade to which wellness attraction workers are suffering amid the pandemic has been highlighted by different probe arsenic well. A May study published successful the diary EClinicalMedicine, for example, recovered that retired of astir 21,000 U.S. wellness attraction workers surveyed, 61% had important fearfulness of exposing themselves oregon their families to COVID-19.
Nurses person ever been a susceptible group, agelong earlier COVID-19 filled the hospitals. One study recovered that, according to information from 2007 to 2018, women nurses successful peculiar were astatine doubly the hazard of dying by suicide arsenic women extracurricular of wellness care.
“Nurses are feeling similar we're astatine our breaking point. But I americium amazed by however ample and overwhelming the numbers are,” says Amanda Bettencourt, PhD, president-elect of the association. “I’ve ne'er seen this fig of nurses considering leaving our profession. This was the stress test for an already stressed system.”
Bettencourt, an adjunct prof successful the Department of Family and Community Health astatine the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, says nurses person confided successful her astir wanting to permission the field.
“What breaks my bosom arsenic a caregiver is the radical I cognize [who] person discontinue oregon are reasoning astir quitting are radical I look up to,” she says. “They are the nurses I privation to instrumentality attraction of maine and my loved ones.”
The emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant has been peculiarly hard, she said, due to the fact that truthful galore of the deaths and hospitalizations are preventable. Even though determination are 3 effectual vaccines, determination are inactive radical who volition not get immunized.
Both Wathen and Bettencourt privation the survey results to nonstop a wide message: Nurses request you to assistance -- by getting vaccinated.
They promote anyone who has questions oregon concerns astir the vaccine to interaction their wellness attraction provider.
“It's up to each of america to extremity this pandemic, and our idiosyncratic actions tin prevention lives and assistance guarantee the stableness of our wellness attraction system,” Wathen says. “The radical leaving aren't leaving due to the fact that they don't love what they do. Our nurses, our front-line wellness attraction workers, request our enactment close now.”