As nurses, we are on the frontlines in the war against COVID-19. Deemed healthcare heroes and recipients of nightly applause, the recognition is gratifying but cannot compensate for the risk inherent in our ethical obligation to care for patients, especially when recycled personal protection equipment is all we have. As of July 13, there were 98,150 COVID-19 cases and 521 deaths among healthcare workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nurses deserve compensation commensurate with the hazards they endure.
If you think you are completely safe being cared for in a hospital, you need to think again. Medical errors remain one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Most of these errors are caused by human error and are preventable. In fact, these errors are mainly miscommunications between providers on any given patient case. Because patient safety needs to be a priority, we must find ways to rethink how we treat patients.