Sept. 20, 2021 — Crucial care nurse Beth Wathen has been taking care of severely unwell sufferers for 35 years. However nothing may have ready her for the final 18 months.
Wathen, who works within the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Kids’s Hospital Colorado, mentioned it’s unattainable to explain the overwhelming loss of life and despair she has seen since COVID-19 started to fill hospitals to the brim.
“It’s laborious to know simply how devastating this pandemic has been when you’re not within the ICU,” she says. “Seeing these poor sufferers dying with out household at their bedside. Watching individuals say goodbye to spouses FaceTime.”
“This whole pandemic has been heartbreaking.”
The pandemic is taking much more of a toll on nurses than many understand. In a brand new survey, the American Affiliation of Crucial-Care Nurses discovered that out of 6,000 vital care nurses surveyed, 66% have thought of leaving their jobs due to the pandemic.
Sixty-seven p.c are afraid of placing their household’s well being in danger, and 92% imagine the pandemic will shorten nurses’ careers. Of these surveyed, 76% imagine sufferers who’re unvaccinated undermine nurses’ bodily and psychological well-being.
“We all know that nurses are leaving in document numbers now, however I used to be very troubled by these numbers,” Wathen says. “They need to be regarding to everybody.”
The extent to which well being care employees are struggling amid the pandemic has been highlighted by different analysis as effectively. A Could research printed within the journal EClinicalMedicine, for instance, discovered that out of almost 21,000 U.S. well being care employees surveyed, 61% had important concern of exposing themselves or their households to COVID-19.
Half the employees suffered from burnout, and 38% mentioned they have been coping with anxiousness or despair.
Nurses have all the time been a susceptible group, lengthy earlier than COVID-19 crammed the hospitals. One research discovered that, in accordance with information from 2007 to 2018, girls nurses specifically have been at twice the danger of dying by suicide as girls exterior of well being care.
“Nurses are feeling like we’re at our breaking level. However I’m shocked by how giant and overwhelming the numbers are,” says Amanda Bettencourt, PhD, president-elect of the affiliation. “I’ve by no means seen this variety of nurses contemplating leaving our career. This was the stress take a look at for an already confused system.”