Under Pressure: Nursing in a Pandemic

Under Pressure: Nursing in a Pandemic

For this past year, many nurses have been feeling the pressure of the pandemic and all the things that came with it. My mom has been a nurse for almost 15 years and she had never seen the hospital this busy and chaotic.

“You walk in the hospital and there are sick patients waiting for a bed or to get looked at and there is just not enough staff to go around.”

At  a local hospital my mom works at, there are currently 250 nursing jobs and 800 jobs open to housekeeping to a doctor. They are asked to do much more with limited supplies and many sick patients.

“I have to store my respirator mask in a plastic bag and use it for each patient I have,” my mom explains. “I get a new one every year on my birthday.”

Nurses are also getting asked to work on a floor they are not certified for. “I told my supervisor that it was very unsafe for me and my patient to work on a floor I am not trained for.”

But it isn’t just the nurses that are feeling the stress and pressure. Their families and patients’ families can tell how messed up the healthcare system is right now. After my mom got COVID from a patient, we all had to quarantine. Everyone was sick of it and just wanted to get out of the house.

Upon coming home, she would come in by the garage, get in the shower downstairs, and make sure all her scrubs were in a bag and not out anywhere just in case she tracked anything from working on the COVID floor. We wouldn’t get to see her for maybe 30 more minutes, and by the time she was upstairs, she was already drained from work and all the work she had to do to just be safe in the house.

Sometimes she would come home and you could hear her crying downstairs.

​One time I asked her if she could change her job and she said, “this is the first time in 15 years I’ve ever thought about changing my career.” Nurses have been through so much this year and still can’t get a break.

COVID-19 has been a very political topic, but it is very real and is affecting people.

​Through my mom, I’ve experienced it in everyday life for the past two years.