“I’m doing this for my coworkers and community because it can affect both,” says a nurse who works at Desert Regional Medical Center, who has asked to remain anonymous because she fears retaliation.
This nurse claims she and her coworkers on the front lines of COVID-19 are not safe.
“The stress levels have been very high because we have suspected cases and patients that may have been into contact with healthcare workers,” says the nurse.
During a time they should be worried about treating the most vulnerable she claims they themselves are possibly being exposed to coronavirus because of conditions that put them at risk.
She says one of the main concerns has to do with safety equipment.
“We have seen long wait times for nurses to have personal protective equipment … the equipment is actually there I think it’s been gaining access to it because of the fears of running out,” says the nurse, adding, “we have to get management approval to get any type of mask at this point.”
She says others are at risk too.
“Often times there’s patients that will come into contact with other people before they’re put into isolation,” she says.
She is asking for transparency and communication of plans and more training for staff saying this would held everyone maintain protocol and ease fears during this time.
She says nurses have told supervisors their concerns that include lack of communication and training.
“There’s no problem, that there’s a plan and that everything is being taken care of,” she says is the response of those in charge.
We reached out to Desert Regional Medical center they sent us this statement:
Desert Care Network is monitoring information from federal, state and local public health agencies for current information on the coronavirus. Our hospitals have taken the appropriate steps, including constructing designated screening areas, and we have trained professionals and the necessary equipment to react accordingly. As with any communicable disease, as our patients enter the hospitals in areas such as emergency department or registration, hospital staff are questioning all of their recent travel and detailing symptoms. We evaluate relevant symptom criteria and implement appropriate level of isolation, if required, without delay. Our clinical teams are in constant review of infection prevention processes and update patient screenings as recommended by the CDC.
We have changed the way our hospitals are accessed to further increase our efforts to protect patients, visitors and employees. We have created hand sanitization stations and are limiting access points to our hospitals to fewer entrances and exits for closer monitoring and evaluation.
Desert Care Network – which consists of more than 3,400 employees – is committed to keeping our patients, our staff and our community safe.
Still this nurse says they’re afraid they will expose their families and community they love, “Those people that say that there’s nothing to worry about I would love to see them go and take care of these patients.”
She says patients can also do their part to protect those who help us by calling in before they visit facilities and being honest about travel history and symptoms. Because if they get sick or get exposed they will not be able to take care of the community.