SARS in Toronto! - page 6

Hey I just saw on the news that a thousand people have been quarentined at a hospital in Toronto! Do you all know anything about this? I hope our Toronto members are alright. Is this virus... Read More

  1. by   elanurse
    Hi everyone,

    I just spent the past 10 mins reading your concerns regarding the present SARS situation.

    I am a student nurse in Toronto, and was one of the first bunch of people to be voluntarily isolated. My placement was at the initial hospital where SARS was discovered.

    I have had alot of time on my hands to contemplate this issue and whether or not I still want to remain in nursing as a career. You know that there are potential risks, but when something new like this comes up it brings a new element to the table. However, I have decided that this is an unusual occurence and I need to remain calm and objective. I have almost completed 2 out of my 3 year program.

    As it turns out, all of the health related fields which normally have hospital based clinical placements, are presently suspended from attending these placements. The result is that if this doesn't get sorted out within the next couple of weeks, many students will have to complete one month of their studies later on. At this point no one knows when this may be, there is even the possibility it will affect our graduation time.

    I think for me, the scary thing is that the professionals in detecting what exactly is causing this.......still don't know the answer or are not telling us. I do believe they don't know. I was speaking with my sister yesterday, who lives in Britain and she was watching the evening news when they commented that this is worse than when AIDS hit.........now to me this is excessive and is what is going to cause panic!!

    I believe that as a nurse we have a responsibility to our profession and to the people we went into this for. However, there are justified reasons for people not wanting to be exposed. I myself have two small children, and I know if I were working with SARS I would be worried for their safety in the event I showed symptoms.

    Anyway, to all those who are working directly to solve or take care of the many client's still hospitalized.......I am thinking of you.
  2. by   oramar
    elanurse, you judgement is sound, good luck, I sure hope you go on to become a nurse because you will be an impressive one.
  3. by   sixes
    elanurse
    well spoken.
    I too have been affected by SARS. I have been a RN since 1992. I worked in Home care until 1999 when I took time of for personal reasons.
    I was to start a surgical nursing clinical rotation offered to RN's at Canadore college North Bay. Unfortunately the start date was to be June 1 now they can't confirm this due to SARS.
    I will be unable to find employment until I complete some kind of refresher course since I haven't been in an institution setting since my preceptorship in 1992.
    I am really looking forward to working again now that my personal life is in order and I can once again concentrate on others needs.
    I hope that your clinical placement is not delayed for long.
    Take care and good luck. Nursing is such a rewarding job.
    Keep us posted.
  4. by   passing thru
    I read in the Toronto news yesterday that six doctors had decided to stay home....so much for professional behavior.
    The docs of course, unlike nurses, probably don't have to " live off their credit cards'.
    They've probably got a little "bundle" of savings and cash lying around.
    Anyway, all six said they " May have " been around some patients with SARS....therefore "we could be incubating the disease, therefore, we are going to stay home until we know.""

    Yeah right...I saw the same doc behavior in the early AIDS days. The nurses in ICU took care of the patients and the docs called in their orders and received status reports.

    As I said earlier, if the docs show up, I'll show up.
    If the docs stay home, I'll stay home.
    I take my cues in high risk situations from the ones who have the most info, in this case ......the docs.
    It's called....being a ""survivor"".

    Sorry if my opinion chaps anyone.
    My advice is to write your local docs and tell THEM how unprofessional they are.

    Hope you are well Wendy and I'd still call in for a couple -three days. The news today is it is winding down....fewer new cases. 2-3 days now could make a big difference.
  5. by   JMP
    Passing thru..... you just made my point again. Your reasoning is extremely flawed.

    Can you name the Toronto paper and can you send a link to the article you read about the "doctors" that are staying home? Can you tell me also if the article in question says they are staying home for their own selfish reasons of survial or if they actually felt they had exposure. I know the head of the infectious disease team in Toronto is home, in isolation due to exposure to a SARS patient (before they where identified). I certainly do not see that as unprofessional.

    Believe me I have stayed ON TOP of this story..print and TV since I work in ICU in a large trauma center in Ontario. I have not seen a story like the one you are quoting but if it is out there...I'd like the chance to read it.

    I see no similiarity to the AIDS epidemic here. Lets not fan the flames of hysteria with such comparisons.


    Lets see the link...OK?
    Last edit by JMP on Apr 3, '03
  6. by   JMP
    Brief follow up

    A 7th pt has died in Ontario. They where one of the original patients who had unprotected exposure at the beginning of the outbreak of SARS. She was a patient at one of the hospitals now closed.

    The public health officals expect a increase in the numbers of cases or potential cases since it will be 10 days this weekend since the "clamp down" has occured. They are expecting to see the rise and then a steady decline...they hope.

    IMPORTANT NOTE so far there has been no community exposure- in other words so far all the suspected and confirmed cases are limited to health care facilies- WITH HEALTH CARE WORKERS or patients ( or visitors to those facilites- hence no visiting now )who where not wearing protection. Hence the gloves-gowns-masks and goggles.
  7. by   sixes
    i would also like to view the link where 6 doctors are staying home. i have posted every link in the toronto sun for days, and i have read all cdc reports and every other story i can find. i have not come across this.
    wendy i hope you are doing ok. stress can cause a flare in lupus, do what you have too. keep your health.
    here are some more links

    fears arise with temperature ( nurse's diary)
    http://www.canoe.ca/torontonews/ts.ts-04-04-0057.html
    sars hits tourism
    http://www.canoe.ca/torontonews/ts.ts-04-04-0007.html
    casino rules force gamblers to weigh the risk
    http://www.canoe.ca/torontonews/ts.ts-04-04-0008.html
    top doc: time to unmask
    http://www.canoe.ca/torontonews/ts.ts-04-04-0009.html
    toronto link to case in oz?
    http://www.canoe.ca/torontonews/ts.ts-04-04-0010.html
    chinese take heat
    http://www.canoe.ca/torontonews/ts.ts-04-04-0011.html
    fear grips toronto
    http://www.canoe.ca/torontonews/ts.ts-04-04-0052.html
    ventilators getting scarce
    http://www.canoe.ca/torontonews/ts.ts-04-04-0055.html
    airpot workers told to unmask
    http://www.canoe.ca/torontonews/ts.ts-04-04-0056.html
  8. by   Worthy
    Staying out of the fray here - and I'm just a lowly, barely-first-year nursing student...but....

    Of the seven deaths in Ontario, ALL SEVEN had severe, chronic, underlying medical conditions. These folks weren't in the best of shape to begin with. Most were elderly - as in over 70, one was 57 (with health problems) and one was 44 (the son of the original, first victim in Canada - he had prolonged exposure to her before they knew what it was, and he had type 2 diabetes and hypertension).

    According to the Toronto Star (wish I could post a link - don't know how) the recovery rate is 95-98%. Only 25% of victims show symptoms of pneumonia - for the rest, it's headaches, fever, general malaise.

    A good friend of mine and fellow nursing student is currently on the 9th day of quarantine since she worked at Scarborough Grace Hospital (the location of the first victim, and where many - if not all - Ontario cases have emanated from). She worked on the same floor as the first SARS patients. She is not sick, as of yet, and her quarantine ends tomorrow.

    With a recovery rate of 95%, I can't really see the comparison to the AIDS epidemic. Scary as all get out, and no, if I had an illness that affected my immune system, I wouldn't work with victims.

    But the media feeding frenzy and misinformation is astounding!!!

    The Toronto Star also reported that Scarborough Grace is offering triple pay and 10 days quarantine full-time pay to nurses willing to work there right now. I'm not sure if that's true - but - I'd be there. I'm young, healthy, a good immune system.

    I am fully aware that when I decided to become a nurse, in a way, I put my life on the line. Just as police officers, firefighters etc. do. That does NOT mean I would take unreasonable precautions. But heck, somebody's gotta do it

    My opinion, for what it's worth!!!
  9. by   hapeewendy
    agree with you for the most part
    I think whoever was comparing this to the AIDS epidemic was trying to compare the two wtih respect to misinformation and healthcare provider fear
    and yes the people who have died from SARS for the most part have had other health ailments, however, many of the people sick with SARS are healthy and healthcare workers to boot...
    I dont think one can be too cautious
    we still need to live our lives but we shouldnt ignore the issue either.
    I would be less concerned if my immune system was 100% but I would still worry about the fact that there are still new cases coming up, and sadly , still people dying.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Wendy darling you have a brilliant handle on it......follow your VERY ASTUTE common sense and ignore the hysteria both there and HERE at this very site. I am frankly disgusted by some of what I see here. That these are also nurses saying some of these things is eye-opening. MY thoughts and prayers are with you, Wendy and the people of Ontario......scary situation. But you will get past it and prevail. Hang tight.
  11. by   Little One2
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    Wendy darling you have a brilliant handle on it......follow your VERY ASTUTE common sense and ignore the hysteria both there and HERE at this very site. I am frankly disgusted by some of what I see here. That these are also nurses saying some of these things is eye-opening. MY thoughts and prayers are with you, Wendy and the people of Ontario......scary situation. But you will get past it and prevail. Hang tight.
    That is well put together. It is a scary situation. I try not to worry too much. I try to follow the precautions and hopefully everyone else will.

    I'm also starting to develop a cold. Haven't reported it. Its definitely not SARS.
  12. by   elanurse
    Hi,

    Worthy, the stats that I heard regarding the severity of SARS: 4% are proving fatal. I think the problem here is due to the fact that SARS is new and we don't yet have the true identity of it. Once this is done and the health system can prove that this can and will be controlled, then people on the whole will feel better.

    I agree with the point regarding the media. As I mentioned earlier there was a remark made by media overseas comparing this to the AIDS epidemic when it first hit. However, not all media sources are false.

    Also, the point you (Worthy) read about the nurses being offered triple time, that is correct. I read on the ONA website that this is what was being done. I also believe it is not just to the nurses at the Grace but those in general working with SARS clients. I too was on placement at the Scarborough Grace and have just completed my 10days, going out of my mind, isolation!!!

    Let's all just hope that this is controlled quickly and we can get back to normal as soon as possible.

    Oh by the way worthy, does your friend know what is going to happen in relation to her clinical time. We have been informed that we will probably have to do 4 weeks over the summer to make up for the lost time. Take care all
  13. by   fancynancy
    SARS:
    Health Canada has a SARS site with case definitions and stats.
    The case definitions and related recommendations are subject to revision as further epidemiological/ laboratory information becomes available.
    I work in a hospital east of Toronto, each day our recommendations have changed. I think our powers that be are on top of the situation.
    However the grape vine from physicians / nurses sheds different views of the picture. Like a puzzle you cannot see the true picture until all the pieces are in place. It looks like we have to ride it out. Information is still fragmented and presenting daily.
    I think nurses know infections better than anyone else in the system we know how to work with it.
    My big concern is the shortage of nurses. I want to do my job well and not be worn out by tasks such as portering, moving beds, the heavy Joe jobs that other people can do. So far we are getting lots of support. Our EkG tech helped on our unit. Others have kept a distance as dictated by the recommondations.
    Time will tell. I am concerned as well. I plan to work and do my best. Thanks

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