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COVID and return to work anxiety


Specializes in Med-Surg Tele. Has 7 years experience.

I worked full time up until April 1st and then was furloughed to due lower census, but mostly because the hospital was losing a lot of income from cancelling non-emergent procedures. I have been off work for almost 3 weeks and will be returning in 4 days. While I was still working I regularly floated to the floor dedicated to COVID PUI as well as confirmed cases. The rules were changing daily, we were not allowed to wear even surgical masks unless aerosolizing treatments were taking place, even then they would tell us to "try to not go in the room for about 2 hours". N95s are completely under the control of the house supervisor who's only response seems to be no. I am not an ICU nurse and only ICU and critical care nurses get issued N95, though I spend 12 hours exposed to the same patients. I have talked to a few other nurses and it seems not much has changed, and I am having extreme anxiety about returning. I'm not sure how to handle this proactively....I go back and forth between wanting to be a part of the frontline and wanting to run like hell. Am I the only one? How do we protect ourselves???


Has 7 years experience.

Ha ha, run like hell...

No seriously, it’s really up to you. Since the anxiety is coming from Corona PPE (re: time, distance, shielding) check for sure with your institution and if it’s not something you feel okay with don’t go back.

If you do go back, know that you are not alone in feeling this way there’s an ARMY of nurses WHO FEEL THE SAME WAY YOU DO (hugs).