COVID-19 taking toll as more healthcare staff contract virus, Texas nurse says

Stress among healthcare professionals is rising as COVID-19 cases surge and more healthcare workers contract the virus, a Texas nurse told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Fort Worth, Texas-based John Peter Smith Hospital treated 93 COVID-19 patients July 4, its highest daily number of patients since the pandemic began, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. As of July 2, more than 64 employees were out sick with the virus, said hospital spokesperson Diana Brodeur. Around June 18, the hospital experienced a spike in sick employees, with more than 115 employees testing positive for COVID-19 to date. 

A nurse, who spoke to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram under the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said healthcare workers are concerned about getting sick and how subsequent lower staff levels will affect patient care.

Nurses at JSP are often the only people a COVID-19 patient will see in person, the nurse said, adding that techs and other support don't go in patient rooms and physicians only enter in emergencies. Nurses visit COVID-19 patients three times a day, unless there is an emergency, to lower exposure risk.

The nurse also said the hospital has COVID-19 patients doubling up in rooms. COVID-19 patients may share space under an agreement involving their physician and infection prevention teams, according to Ms. Brodeur. 

The stress of working with COVID-19 patients, along with the daily fear that workers could leave with the virus, continues to weigh heavily on healthcare workers, the nurse said.

Employees on leave because of COVID-19 are compensated for their time, Ms. Brodeur said. However, only employees who can prove they got sick at work are eligible for compensation, which the nurse said is nearly impossible to prove.

More articles on nursing:
9 hospitals hiring CNOs
Behind every RN is a nurse manager: 4 tips for these leaders during the pandemic
Building better self-efficacy, resilience may improve nurses' mental health, study suggests


© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars