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My post-op med surg floor has now turned into a COVID unit & I am afraid to catch the virus & spread it to my family ..

by Sherlsx3 Sherlsx3 (New) New

My hospital made my floor along with 3 ICUs & 2 other med surg floors dedicated to COVID patients. I know that I'm a nurse & this is what I signed up for but in reality nurses do not go into this profession thinking they are going to be on the front lines of a global pandemic that is literally bringing life to a halt as we know it. It's frightening. My floor currently has 40 patients either COVID + or R/O COVID. As afraid as I am for these patients, I am afraid for myself as well. I feel like not only am I jeopardizing myself but my whole family. For PPE, I wear the gown, goggles, hair net, shoe nets, 2 pairs of gloves, N95 plus surgical mask. I wash my hands so much at work now my skin becomes irritated. When my shift ends, I take my scrubs off and put them in a bag and change into clean clothes. When I get to my car, I put gloves on and wipe my work shoes with bleach wipes place them in a bag then change into another pair of shoes before getting into my car. Then when I get into my car I use hand sanitizer. When I get home I wash my hands again. Then I shower very very very thoroughly & wipe all the door knobs with Lysol wipes then stay in my room, I even eat in my room now. Even with all these precautions that I am taking, I feel like I'm going to catch the virus sooner or later. I'm so afraid to infect my family members. I feel like I should quarantine myself. I've been having a lot of anxiety over this to the point where sometimes I can't eat.. I just need some honest advice please.


Has 22 years experience.

I totally understand your anxiety. Bringing the virus home to my husband and daughter is my biggest fear! I am a procedural RN and am having to train for floor nursing duty in the next few weeks. They are going to do “intensive training” for one day, then off we go to the floor as needed. I am praying for each and every healthcare provider in this scary time in our lives. I keep thinking, this will eventually be over and life will go back to normal. Prayers sent!

I am also a nurse on a med-surg floor and have anxiety about this too! My hospital is not even using N95s, we are treating these patients on droplet precautions. And I have a one year old at home and am also terrified to bring this virus home.

Edited by CNA_RNtobe

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

I feel for everyone on the front lines of this and I pray this whole thing turns a corner, soon.

I do believe recent testing has shown that it is not quite a virulent as had been feared. The whole chloroquine thing is looking promising; I really hope it pans out. Health care workers should be the first to receive it if it is.

I know this is not much consolation for those of you who are currently out there and fearing for yourselves and your families. Sending prayers for health and safety your way. For what it's worth.

Christ before you Christ behind you Christ in air of your lungs and Christ in the air of your patients lungs. Saint Luke, Pray for us! most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! turn your face to the lord and he will look back at you. Reach out to those around you, and talk to someone about what you’re going through. A Chaplin, or even your company’s employee assistance program. God grant you peace.

pixierose, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, psych. Has 4 years experience.

OP - I get it. The anxiety gets overwhelming. It’s exhausting; I follow a very similar sequence as you and you fear missing a step.

I posted a few days ago in a thread about compensation... that we are nurses and that we come into work through snow and hurricanes, and with this pandemic to wear our PPE.

But it is a woefully ignorant response now.

I lost count of how many encounters I’ve had with COVID 19 or PO COVID 19 patients. We treat them as droplet precautions, so no n95 masks for us. We are so low with masks that our ED has a 14 day supply left; my NM has begged us to bag them and reuse them bc that’s a NORMAL 14 day supply.

I didn’t sign up for that. Nobody has. It’s unfair.

I have children, a husband, and me (who does have comorbidities). It feels like “when,” not “if.” I don’t want any of us to be the 3%; I don’t want anyONE to be in that number.

I guess I don’t have advice. Just a hug (elbow bump). You’re not alone.

Courage isn't the absence of fear; it's doing the best you can even though you're afraid. I think a lot of us are about to find out we're braver than we thought and stronger than we realized.

You're not alone in your thoughts and fears, OP. Best wishes to you and yours.