Many front-line health workers who have faced a perpetual lack of PPE and inconsistent safety measures believe the government and their employers have failed to protect them from covid-19.
Yolanda Coar was 40 when she died of COVID-19 in August 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. She was also a nurse manager, and one of nearly 3,000 frontline workers who have died in the U.S. fighting this virus, according to an exclusive investigation by The Guardian and KHN.
The National Academy of Sciences cites journalists’ “Lost on the Frontline” project in a push to expand federal tracking of worker fatalities.
At least 2,900 health workers have died since the pandemic began. Many were minorities with the highest levels of patient contact.
Hospitals are in better shape now than in the spring, with more knowledge of how to handle COVID-19 and bigger stockpiles of protective equipment. Still, nurses worry about staffing shortages and unfilled jobs.
COVID-19’s toll weighs heavily on nurses, who can suffer stress and other psychological problems if they don’t believe they are able to help their patients sufficiently.
A shortage of nurses has turned hospital staffing into a sort of national bidding war, with hospitals willing to pay exorbitant wages to secure the nurses they need. That threatens to shift the supply of nurses toward more affluent areas.
Doctors and nurses say order puts lives in danger, amid a COVID surge and a statewide shortage of health care workers.
As the coronavirus surges around the country, workers in nursing homes and assisted living centers are watching cases rise in long-term care facilities with a sense of dread. Many of these workers struggle with grief over the suffering they’ve witnessed.
Frequently employed by staffing agencies based in other states, nurses and other healthcare professionals can find themselves working through crisis without advocates or adequate safety equipment.