Healthcare workers put everything at risk as an essential worker during a pandemic. The care of a COVID-19 patient requires layers of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE, something that is becoming harder and harder to find as the virus continues to infect patients each day. As the virus continues to require millions to stay home and quarantine, healthcare workers are risking themselves for the protection of you and your family.
Temple Update spoke with a nurse practitioner who was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the beginning stages of its arrival and spread in the United States. She preferred to remain anonymous and not give the name of her employer.
“As I felt symptoms I felt it was my duty to get tested as soon as possible to protect and not expose my coworkers or patients. I work in a large healthcare system and I was the first to be positive in the area” she said.
The practitioner sees many patients daily and her position did not require her to wear a mask or other forms of PPE, which may have had an impact on her contracting the virus. As she recovers from the virus, she says her office is taking strides to make PPE a requirement. She said her office is transitioning to alternative forms of care by providing telemedicine to their patients. When discussing the need for PPE she stated,
“Moving forward we will. We do not have the supplies or the ability to see people in person because of that. So we will be going to telemedicine live next week.”
She said that the health care system she is employed by does not have an adequate supply to maintain the same amount of care they would typically provide. The shift to virtual care will be one of challenges because not seeing patients in person will take away from the level of care that her office.
The nurse practitioner sees the difficulty her network is facing as well as all of the others in the area.
“Take this advice, stay home and be safe” she said.
The CDC recommends that all people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where there is high amounts of traffic and social distancing is harder to maintain. This could be places like the grocery store or a pharmacy. The cloth covering can be made from household items like a t-shirt or a bandana to save surgical masks or N-95 respirators for healthcare workers and other critical occupations.