In the second installment of The ER Diaries, a nurse returns to a corona tent in full swing
My second switching is already feeling “normal” with the questions, the absence of family member and staff milling about in the dormitories. The echo of my strides off the coldnes, sterile floorings reminded us of the times we are living in. We’re in this together but it feels mighty lonely.
Today’s pre-shift meeting has its moments. We’re instructed to research for Covid-1 9 only if the patient is critical enough for admission to the hospital. So the goal doesn’t appear to be to find the positive examples to isolate, but to identify the genuinely sick as evidence of what we probably already know. The honeymoon is over.
The department is crowding up now. The tent is in full swing treating people for influenza-like illness. There’s a backlog of cases waiting on inpatient berths. Strangely the return of a frenetic sky allays my nerves and takes my recollection off the Covid-1 9 mess. Once again most of my patients are truly in need of the hospital’s works. The BS and regulars are still staying away.
I have my first rule-out Covid patient and then my second shortly after. Both get swabbed, but it took heavy pressure and multiple requests to the physician to get the order. I likewise realize that all the talk about limited PPE equips is legitimate, when I can’t find see safety and I’m instructed to keep my surgical mask for multiple applies. I echo how just one year ago I wore two masks at once with a teabag sandwiched between them to reduce the overwhelming smelling while scavenging individual patients with Clostridioides difficile. Clearly the brand-new normal is going to come at some costs.
At hour eight of my displacement I start to feel a little tickle in my throat. It would never have riled me before, but now a sneezing can cause panic. I “re going to have to” rationally talk myself out of imagining “its the end”. Never once have I been a hypochondriac or have I descend prey to hysteria. Now I’m noticing that I have to calm myself down, which precedes me to realize the mental anguish this virus is having on all of us.
Another shift complete, more unanswered questions and a few nips to our workflow that they are able to hopefully keep us and our patients safe. I’m doubly depleted today, and grateful to have the next few dates to recuperate, loosen and continue a clear mind.