The treatment of health workers from ‘heroes to chiefs’

Dr. Sheryl Recinos’ patient refused to accept her Covid-19 test. His coughing was due to the smell of Recinos, the patient insisted, convinced that his good Covid-19 test could not be true.

But Recinos, a family medicine hospital in California, has not been able to apply the ointment. As a result of the test, Recinos told his patient, it was true.

The partnership, in the summer of 2020, was out at the time. But in recent months, such discussions have become more common.

Recinos treated those people who, two weeks in hospital stay Covid-related respiratory distress, still do not believe they have coronavirus. He had patients question his presidency, patients who wanted to be given the same medications as former President Donald Trump when they found Covid, and family members of the patients scolded him for something as simple as giving to loved ones. oxygen, the necessary treatment their opponents are doing more harm than good.

“It’s difficult. I have never seen anything like it, ”Recinos, who works 12 hours a day for up to 20 days, said. “Most of us have worked long hours, and many hours, and we are valued by the public.”

Dr. Sheryl Recinos, spotted in March 2020, wore protective equipment made from the head of a car when PPE was still in its infancy.Dr. Sheryl Recinos

The fourth outbreak of the disease has brought unique challenges to advanced health workers, many of whom have already reached their stage.

Tired of the shortage of hospital staff and exhaustion, health workers are also facing uncertainty and anger from patients, leaving staff anxious and fearful.

“Our patients no longer trust us,” said Amy Arlund, a nurse in Fresno, California. “A year and a half ago the emotions that came with the arrival of these patients were compassion, empathy, regret, guilt – and the source of emotion has dried up. All that is left is anger and hatred and mistrust. ”

The problem is growing in the world. In Missouri, a hospital is firing its staff with fear buttons after a three-fold increase in patient attacks last year. In Idaho, family members who did not believe Covid actually accused doctors and nurses of killing patients. And in a Massachusetts hospital, at least two or three nurses are attacked by patients every day, according to the Boston NPR channel WBUR.

In the interview, doctors and nurses alike said they were feeling overwhelmed, either by increasing hatred from patients, or by refusing from many in their community to accept that masks and injections are the safest and most effective way to keep people away from hospitals in the first place.

They all questioned whether the organizations that employ them and, in some cases, the cities they work for have been removed from this list to protect their safety and because their views do not reflect those of their employers.

Dr. Mona Masood, a psychiatrist who is the founder and chief organizer of the Physician Support Line, a secret mobile phone she prepared for doctors at the beginning of the epidemic, said some doctors have been calling recently saying that this has been the goal of vitriol.

“We call it the ‘heroes of misconceptions,” said Masood, adding that at the beginning of the epidemic, when health workers were credited with the belief of night demonstrations, doctors felt like they were being celebrated like heroes, but worried they didn’t have enough tools to survive.

Now, he said, doctors call the Doctor Support Line feeling overwhelmed by the way they are being treated. Sometimes, he said, they will call immediately during their shift.

“They call us and act like, ‘Let me take you out with me so I can go back in there, because the sky forbids me to be an expert when I can – people are accusing me of that, too,'” he said. They feel trapped. ”

‘We’ve had a few vacations’

The shortage of staff in health care before the outbreak, has become more pronounced as hospitals have become swollen with Covid patients.

“Everyone is in a difficult situation at all times,” Arlund said. “Your body wasn’t designed to maintain that for 18 months.”

Until last month, Arlund had been a crisis nurse, an important position that required him to go to ICU patients at risk of dementia. In recent months, such patients have sought treatment such as ivermectin, a counterfeit drug Covid; asked for medications she had never heard of in her 20 years as a nurse; and he often expressed suspicion toward him and his companions.

In mid-September, Arlund had a Covid patient whose oxygen was below normal. The patient had been refusing to wear a special oxygen mask or agreeing to sleep on his stomach, a step meant to help him stop breathing.

When Arlund and his colleagues asked him to put on an oxygen mask, the patient – who turned purple at the time – replied that Arlund was blocking his view of a football match he was watching on TV.

“Our patients no longer trust us,” said Amy Arlund, an ICU nurse in Fresno, California.Amy Arlund

“I got to my point where I just had to walk away,” said Arlund, who lost six others to the coronavirus. She left her position as a crisis nurse, remaining a nurse in the ICU.

Attacks on those in the medical field are not limited to hospitals. Dr. Kellie Snooks, a pediatrician who cares for patients in Wisconsin, said pediatricians are being criticized on social media for promoting masks in schools.

Snooks stand heartily behind the masks mandati. As the widespread delta virus spread of coronavirus has spread, the pediatric ICU has become overcrowded, something that once the epidemic is so rare.

“People think health workers have hidden agendas, and we don’t,” Snooks said, adding that he was confused that even with science showing that masks stop the spread of the virus and that vaccines are safe, there are still opponents. “We just want people to be healthy, and we’re getting tired of worrying about ourselves doing that.”

Practices to help lighten the load

Masood, founder of the Physician Support Line, said health workers need mental health support, starting with a change in medical school culture, where residents taking consecutive shifts are often the ones receiving the most compliments.

If you or someone you know is in trouble, these findings can be helpful

His line of support has received three thousand since March 2020 and is currently receiving its highest number of calls. Eight hundred volunteer paramedics respond to the call for support services if they need it at the end of the call, or advice such as psychotherapy.

“We are trying our best to provide the public with the information they need to protect themselves, but our words are just as powerful as their willingness to take them.”

emergency nurse nurse MAWATA KAMARA

For Mawata Kamara, an emergency room nurse in California, taking days off from work has been helpful. He also began to reject other shifts, something he felt he could not do in the first and second exacerbations of the disease.

“I am not burning myself anymore,” Kamara said.

He and other health workers interviewed in this article appealed to the public to protect themselves and their families.

“We are trying our best to provide the public with the information they need to protect themselves, but our words are just as powerful as they want to take,” Kamara said.

Mawata Kamara, emergency room nurse in California.Mawata Kamara

Others said that they were asking people to do whatever they could to stay out of the hospital.

It’s not just the injection, wearing a mask and doing hand hygiene, said Lindsey Harris, president of the Alabama State Nurses Association.

“How can we prevent comorbidities – diabetes, heart disease, those things – where patients’ rewards may be better once they catch Covid?” she said.

For Recinos, a family doctor in the hospital, writing has always been a way of life for him, and it has helped him to endure the ordeal.

At the start of the fourth season, Recinos could not bear to see the loss as he did last year. He once moved out of his home, Los Angeles County, which has a low vaccine, to go to a hospital in the state with a high level of protection.

He still sees Covid patients, and the problem of lies has spread everywhere, he said.

“I have never allowed a patient to be given immunotherapy, but I have admitted many patients to Covid,” he said. “I don’t understand why it had to do politics.”

If you are a doctor or medical student in need of mental health support, call the Physician Support Line at 1-888-409-0141 from 8 am ET to 1 am ET, seven days a week. The heroes are free and secretive. Some front-line health workers and first responders can get free, confidential support from Magellan Health’s problem texting and phone calls.

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