I'm Done

Updated | Posted

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

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The medium-sized hospital (275 beds) where I work only has one ICU. But thanks to the unvaxxed we have had to open another ICU for COVID patients again.

We first did this last Winter and it was awful, but it was nobody's fault. Now it is.

We are keeping our COVID ICU open by nurses working overtime. Many have been working five or six 12 to 16-hour shifts a week for months now. People's lives are falling apart. In the last year, two of our ICU nurses have committed suicide. I don't know everything that was going on in their lives, but I'm quite certain that working long hard hours for months, never being home, having no downtime to relax and recharge has a LOT to do with it.

We actually had more COVID patients last Winter, but they were older and not as sick. Like 70s and 80s, vs now it's people in their 50s-60s and they are MUCH sicker. They die like flies. We had a 31-year-old die, and several in their 40s. One died and after to code the doc called and informed her family, but somehow her two teenage daughters who were en route to the hospital didn't get the message and I had to tell them. I'm noticing signs of PTSD in our ICU nurses who are, for the most part, young people. Most are in their 20's. To work so hard taking care of their patients for weeks only to have them die is soul-destroying. I zipped nine people into body bags over the weekend. 

Long planned vacations have been canceled, nurses are losing touch with their families and support systems.

I've spent a lot of time and energy talking to people about COVID and vaccines. I've provided them with the latest data and evidence. I've related what it's like for hospital patients with COVID. But it's a waste of time and effort so I'm done with it. 

Everyone who isn't stupid is already vaccinated and that just leaves the stupid, and you can't fix stupid. I'll no longer refute disinformation with accurate information, just point out they are liars and move on.

My goal is no longer to convince people to get vaccinated. Now my goal is to identify as many of them as possible so that I can do everything in my power to ensure they are never given a position of responsibility again.

I've already started asking those I do business with about their vaccination status. Unvaxxed or refuse to answer and I'm done with them. My mechanic got vaccinated. I had to switch to another (vaccinated) barber. I spoke at two of my local school board meetings in favor of masking the students (including my children) and requiring vaccinations of all staff. I let them know I would be filing a lawsuit if they failed to do either. Luckily they did both.

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

4 hours ago, PMFB-RN said:

We first did this last Winter and it was awful, but it was nobodies fault. Now it is.

I hear you.
 

I think the above quote is what makes this so hard and as you said; soul destroying. In 2020 our fight was with nature. We were defenseless against the virus. Things are different in 2021. Now we actually a defense. But some (too many) people refuse it and choose death instead. But before they die, some nurse will devote many shifts trying to save their lives, only to have to zip them up in a body bag in the end. It’s so pointless. 

My heart goes out to you and all other healthcare professionals who continue to care for Covid patients, often at a great personal cost. 
 

Take care PMFB!

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I'm so sorry. I had my first moment that you're  describing the. other day. I was listening to. a segment on NPR about a. rural Minnesota hospital that is overrun. with Covid patients (as are all the hospitals) with a vaccine rate in the community <50%. They interviewed a woman. who was in the ICU, but is now recovering at home on supplemental oxygen, and she STILL refused to get the vaccine. It was that moment that I had the fleeting thought "Maybe it would be better for all of us if all those who choose not to get vaccinated just get sick and die." And that made me feel so sad, that I have come to this point, that I have given up hope for humanity.

PMFB-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

1 hour ago, klone said:

I'm so sorry. I had my first moment that you're  describing the. other day. I was listening to. a segment on NPR about a. rural Minnesota hospital that is overrun. with Covid patients (as are all the hospitals) with a vaccine rate in the community <50%. They interviewed a woman. who was in the ICU, but is now recovering at home on supplemental oxygen, and she STILL refused to get the vaccine. It was that moment that I had the fleeting thought "Maybe it would be better for all of us if all those who choose not to get vaccinated just get sick and die." And that made me feel so sad, that I have come to this point, that I have given up hope for humanity.

My hospital is in Minnesota. Over the weekend I was told by the house supervisor over the weekend that there were six available ICU beds in the state. SIX! for a whole state.

    That's like two car accidents away from there being no beds. I don't know what I would do if someone I loved was in an accident and needed and ICU bed but couldn't get one because of the unvaxxed and their choice to clog up ICUs. 

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I’m in MN too. Times are really tough at the moment. I believe we have the 7th highest hospitalization rate in the country. 

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

11 hours ago, PMFB-RN said:

We first did this last Winter and it was awful, but it was nobody's fault. Now it is.

I can 100% sympathize with you and hope that things turn around, for you and for all of us. We have been fortunate through both waves that our state hasn't been overrun, but it's been challenging at times. My ICU has managed and so far we've only reach 50% COVID patients a couple times since August. But you're right it's SO MUCH harder this time because they're young and they're sick and it's frustrating.

I realize that just because someone doesn't get vaccinated, that's not the same thing as choosing to get COVID, but it seems like such a risk to take. The thing I have found frustrating about this round is that even though the patients are younger and sicker, for the most part they are also angry- at us. We encourage COVID patients to self-prone to improve their oxygenation, and when patients are on high flow oxygen we have to modify their diets for safety- and they get mad at us. I've been accused of wanting to put patients on ventilators because that's what nurses prefer. Patients are yelling at us because they're "starving". We've been told we're making it up so we can get more money. 

And yes, I think all of the stress in work is adding to stresses outside of work. I'm so sorry to hear that you've lost coworkers to suicide. So many of us have had challenges in our marriages and relationships and while that happens even when there isn't a pandemic, it seems to have exacerbated those trends as well. 

Good luck to you and your coworkers. And all of us dealing with this mess as best as we can. 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

14 hours ago, PMFB-RN said:

My hospital is in Minnesota. Over the weekend I was told by the house supervisor over the weekend that there were six available ICU beds in the state. SIX! for a whole state.

    That's like two car accidents away from there being no beds. I don't know what I would do if someone I loved was in an accident and needed and ICU bed but couldn't get one because of the unvaxxed and their choice to clog up ICUs. 

I don't know what I would do either, but I would be angry I would be dizzy. This is an ongoing problem already. I don't see it getting better any time soon. Pray no one we love or  care about is affected so negatively by unvaxxed patients taking up space in our OR/ED's.

bluescrubs, ADN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Corrections, Surgical. Has 1 years experience.

If there is only 6 ICU beds in the whole state then it sounds like a state of emergency and there needs to be some arrangements made. Working 5 to 6 days or nights straight is too much to ask for staff. I've done it before when I was staff with my PRN jobs ( my choice to work so much as I needed to get some things done financially). It does put major stress on your body. I'm not sure how I survived. The last assignment I was at the hospital and surrounding area was overrun with Covid patients. One nurse had 4 out of her 5 patients die in one day. By the end of the shift she was in tears. As nurses we need to stand up. Demand the hospital get some outside help so nurses are not burning themselves into the ground. 

 "In the last year, two of our ICU nurses have committed suicide".

Whaaaaaaat??? Why is this not news?

summertx

Has 6 years experience.

On 10/20/2021 at 12:59 AM, PMFB-RN said:

The medium-sized hospital (275 beds) where I work only has one ICU. But thanks to the unvaxxed we have had to open another ICU for COVID patients again.

We first did this last Winter and it was awful, but it was nobody's fault. Now it is.

We are keeping our COVID ICU open by nurses working overtime. Many have been working five or six 12 to 16-hour shifts a week for months now. People's lives are falling apart. In the last year, two of our ICU nurses have committed suicide. I don't know everything that was going on in their lives, but I'm quite certain that working long hard hours for months, never being home, having no downtime to relax and recharge has a LOT to do with it.

We actually had more COVID patients last Winter, but they were older and not as sick. Like 70s and 80s, vs now it's people in their 50s-60s and they are MUCH sicker. They die like flies. We had a 31-year-old die, and several in their 40s. One died and after to code the doc called and informed her family, but somehow her two teenage daughters who were en route to the hospital didn't get the message and I had to tell them. I'm noticing signs of PTSD in our ICU nurses who are, for the most part, young people. Most are in their 20's. To work so hard taking care of their patients for weeks only to have them die is soul-destroying. I zipped nine people into body bags over the weekend. 

Long planned vacations have been canceled, nurses are losing touch with their families and support systems.

I've spent a lot of time and energy talking to people about COVID and vaccines. I've provided them with the latest data and evidence. I've related what it's like for hospital patients with COVID. But it's a waste of time and effort so I'm done with it. 

Everyone who isn't stupid is already vaccinated and that just leaves the stupid, and you can't fix stupid. I'll no longer refute disinformation with accurate information, just point out they are liars and move on.

My goal is no longer to convince people to get vaccinated. Now my goal is to identify as many of them as possible so that I can do everything in my power to ensure they are never given a position of responsibility again.

I've already started asking those I do business with about their vaccination status. Unvaxxed or refuse to answer and I'm done with them. My mechanic got vaccinated. I had to switch to another (vaccinated) barber. I spoke at two of my local school board meetings in favor of masking the students (including my children) and requiring vaccinations of all staff. I let them know I would be filing a lawsuit if they failed to do either. Luckily they did both.

Their vaccinations status is really none of anyone's business.  That's  protected health information. 

Patients should be free from SHAME at a hospital and their vaccination status  should remain confidential. If someone questions me about my vaccination status with the  purpose of not providing care, shaming me or not providing me adequate care, they must be prepared  to answer to the regulating agencies.

toomuchbaloney

Has 43 years experience.

6 hours ago, summertx said:

Their vaccinations status is really none of anyone's business.  That's  protected health information. 

Says who?

PMFB-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

On 10/23/2021 at 11:56 AM, summertx said:

Their vaccinations status is really none of anyone's business.  That's  protected health information. 

Patients should be free from SHAME at a hospital and their vaccination status  should remain confidential. If someone questions me about my vaccination status with the  purpose of not providing care, shaming me or not providing me adequate care, they must be prepared  to answer to the regulating agencies.

Vaccination status is not protected health information, but your dishonesty is noted.

    As for the rest, while you quoted my OP, you clearly never read it. At least that's the most charitable conclusion I can come to. 

On 10/22/2021 at 11:20 PM, 2BS Nurse said:

 "In the last year, two of our ICU nurses have committed suicide".

Whaaaaaaat??? Why is this not news?

It was news. Locally anyway.