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Topics About 'Covid 19 Fears'.

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  1. Hi all, sorry if this topic has been posted before. I'm a new grad nurse who was hired into the ICU, which was recently converted to a Covid ICU. I am in a state that recently is experiencing another wave of cases. I'm super grateful to have gotten a job but am now concerned about if I should see my elderly parents while working in this unit. Nurses working on Covid units- are you isolating at home from spouses and/or family? Do you see elderly parents or grandparents?? I was considering socially distanced outdoor dinners with my parents, but my mom has hypertension and my dad has CHF/diabetes/htn....aka they are a poster of risk factors. Please let me know your experiences and thoughts!
  2. BlessYourHeartt

    Odds of getting COVID as a healthcare worker

    Can't help but wonder what the odds of contracting COVID-19 are as a U.S. bedside healthcare worker in direct care of confirmed and rule-out COVID patients? Haven't seen any articles in the media analyzing this topic, and I suspect that it may be in part because a focused analysis would make anxiety soar among HCWs and our families. P.S. the risk, however hard to quantify, is unacceptably high in my circumstances (high-risk spouse, young kids, no way to distance self from them in case of exposure as they depend on me for care) so I have left the bedside.
  3. Shandler

    Protecting our families?

    Depending on our location, many of us are already starting to be in contact with patients who are either rule out or have tested positive. Even though we are wearing the proper PPE and taking precautionary steps to avoid spreading the virus, the reality is we all have to go home to our families each night. This has me seriously considering the most responsible steps to take to protect my family after I come home from my shifts. Currently, I am taking my scrubs off in the garage, bagging them, putting them directly in the washer, and walking to the shower without going anywhere else in the house. Whether this is enough I do not know, which is why I am looking for the opinions and ideas of other nurses. What are you each doing when you get home to reduce the chance of transmission to your family members/housemates? If you are treating an actively positive patient are you separating yourself in a different room of the home when you go home? Do you feel confident that practicing regular common sense hygiene is enough to limit exposure to our loved ones? (I am referring to nurses who have not tested positive and are exhibiting no symptoms.)
  4. At your hospital are pregnant nurses exempt from taking care of covid patients or patients that do not have a confirmed negative result? I work in a small OR and we have two pregnant nurses that have doctors notes saying they can't take care of patients that do not have a negative covid test. A lot of our on-call cases are patients that have results pending and they are saying they can't take call because of this. It is a small OR and having 2 nurses out of the call schedule is taking a toll. We test our scheduled surgical patients 48 hours in advance, which means they do have a window of opportunity to catch covid before surgery.
  5. girlwithnoname

    Riots/2nd Outbreak/Ebola is back

    Hi, Are any of you guys worried about the riots having a second COVID outbreak? I am super worried about the world. Also, I found out that Ebola came back in Congo. I'm trying not to be anxious but how can you not as a nurse right now. Heres a link to the Ebola coming back: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/01/world/africa/ebola-outbreak-congo.html
  6. spark plug

    Fear and Anxiety

    The only two stores that I go to are the grocery store and the gas station. People are not wearing a mask or gloves. I asked one man at a grocery store, (who wasn't wearing a mask or gloves), "Aren't you scared about getting the coronavirus?" He said, "No, I've been to two other countries and haven't caught anything." Then I see parents in the grocery stores with their child in the seat and they're holding onto the handle, and I was thinking, I hope that child will not catch anything. What are these people thinking? I wish the president would say that everybody entering a store, gas station, & etc. has to wear a mask and gloves to enter. It is these people who are going to spread it to someone, and then that person spreads it to so and so, and on and on. This just showed me all these people that do not wear a mask do not care about children or the elderly. There are a lot of people in this world that don't care and I've seen it. SHAME ON THEM!! I want to get back to socializing. I can't even go to church and be with my church family because of this virus. I miss being around them. I also miss being around my grandbabies and all my loved ones and friends. My anxiety is through the roof! When I do go to these two places, I just get out start walking into the store like always and think, "Oh my gloves and my mask." Then I start talking to God, and say "Please DEAR LORD let people listen about wearing gloves and masks so other people don't get it and die." We need to get this pandemic taken care of. I just think it should be mandatory for everybody that goes to the stores, gas stations, etc. to wear masks and gloves. And maybe we can get this thing under control and go back to a normal life. I feel sorry for people out of work. Because some of them don't have the money for their bills. I'm sure it's been like a small vacation for them, but I would like for them to get back to their jobs and get the economy going again, so everybody is paying their bills correctly and not worrying. HEROES, KEEP STAYING SAFE. NURSES, DOCTORS, & FRONTLINERS, YOU ARE THE BEST!! MAY GOD KEEP YOU SAFE FROM THIS PANDEMIC. You deserve a wonderful vacation to wherever you want. Small prayer... Please dear Lord Will you keep my brother safe as he is really in the front lines in the hospitals not just one but a few because he is a director of them. And he has diabetes. Keep you're umbrella over him so that he is safe. AMEN! I hope that soon the president will make everybody wear gloves and mask until this virus is over. THANK YOU!! EDITED TO ADD I found out that the President said the Coronavirus Committee recommended that everyone should wear masks in public and that it is up to the Governor of each state to make sure that this happens. I don't think we are ready to open up businesses because people are not wearing masks. I know people need their money, and I miss going in restaurants, grocery stores, etc. without having to wear my mask. Please, everyone, be careful! This should be a wake-up call for the United States of America. None of us were prepared for this deadly virus. I guarantee I will be stocking up on all kinds for items and be ready. Just like we have to be ready and get our tornado precautions together during tornado season. Please businesses, I hope they do like everything they are supposed to so that we may not continue to spread this virus around. Good luck businesses I'm glad that you are getting to open. I'm just scared that it will still spread. Everyone be safe and God bless you!
  7. AlyssaJean

    ER RN- 26 Weeks Pregnant

    Hello all, I'm just wondering if anyone has any insight regarding navigating caring for known or rule out COVID patients while pregnant. Up until this point, our census had been very low and I had not been required to go in any of these rooms. Now with census rebounding, I was taken into the office today to discuss how I cannot refuse to care for known or suspected COVID patients. The policy we have in place at my establishment supports you avoiding caring for these patient populations once you reach 36 weeks. While many studies suggest the virus can't be transmitted to the fetus, some articles I read state that some newborns were tested merely moments after birth and they were positive. So that instills doubt for me. I am also concerned because pregnancy can negatively effect your immune system and pregnant woman are at increased risk of respiratory illness at baseline, even in a non pandemic world. Even if the baby doesn't get COVID, but I do, there are negative implications upon the baby from things like fever and poor oxygenation in the mother. I also read there's a clear link to preterm labor with pregnant women who are diagnosed with COVID. I expressed to my boss that I am uncomfortable with caring for these patients because of potential risks to my child and myself. This was met with statistical reassurances of why it is low risk and there is no data that suggests it will be harmful to my baby. While some may find me to be rigid and unreasonable in my refusal to care for COVID patients- I feel that this advice and conclusion has been drawn based on an absence of evidence, rather than an absence of risk. This virus is too new for any real data to be obtained and conclusions to be drawn. Without any real clinical reassurance of safety, I am not willing for my unborn child to become an experiment. I am very stressed about working directly with these patients where I am exposed and they can potential quarantine my own baby from me for 14 days after birth if there's concerns I've been exposed or have symptoms. Does anyone know what my rights would be in a situation like this? Can I be fired for refusal to expose myself and my baby? Or would that be discrimination because I am only refusing due to concerns related to my pregnancy? Any other pregnant nurses or know anyone who is dealing with similar situations and how they are handling it? I would appreciate any insight or recommendations, I am kind of at a loss for how to proceed. They said they are going to help me try to find another area of the hospital to work in until maternity leave. But that may take time and I am curious about what I should do in the interim. I still have 3 1/2 months left to work. A.
  8. hppygr8ful

    This just got very real for me!

    So as I mentioned I initially treated the news coming of china and some people's reactions as "Chicken Little" nonsense. I still paid attention as the virus began to pop up in the US. When the recommendation to wear masks came about I dug out an N95 from our painting supplies and wore it to work. I was told I would face disciplinary action if I continued to wear it as it might "Frighten" the patients. This went on for a week or with our administration announcing daily that there was no cause for alarm as long as we were washing our hands frequently. Suddenly at the beginning of last week the mask mandate came down from the front. Now we were to face disciplinary action if we weren't wearing gloves and masks for patient contact. I have done everything correctly and still two night ago I woke up with a bad cough and temp of 100.1. I went to work anyway as it's much better to be sent home than to call off especially on a weekend, They held me at the door while they supposedly notified Infection Control and cleared me to work with a mask on. They did not say anything to the weekend supervisor. So Monday I called my primary physician and he put me on home quarantine except for a drive through test with results to come in 24 to 48 hours. In the meantime I am on home quarantine self isolated in the living room away from my husband and son. My son is a hugger and really wants to hug me but no can do. I am trying to make the best of it by doing a bit of Spring cleaning but I get fatigued easily and have to rest often. Praying to Odin, Thor and Freya for negative results Stay well Hppy
  9. AnonymousNurse2012

    New nurse, asthma, Covid-19, What do I do?

    So, I’ve got a big issue and I don’t really know what to do. I’m 22 years old with asthma and have been working as a CNA for about 2 years. I was working in a nursing home and then COVID patients were being admitted. What made this matter concerning was that the facility didn’t have the appropriate and sufficient PPE for staff to be safe and protected. My asthma had been acting up( and still is) and led to me debating if I should continue to work or quit. Ultimately, I decided to quit my job because I feared being exposed to COVID and suffering the worst outcome due to my asthma. Currently, I’m in nursing school and graduate this December with an associate degree. Nobody knows what the future holds, if there will be a vaccine by the end of the year(doubt it), successful treatments, or a cure. Until there is a cure, COVID will be everywhere so really working in healthcare is going to expose you to it. I know as a new nurse I can’t just graduate, completely work as something else(example: secretary, remote work, sales rep. ) until a treatment/cure is found(don’t even know when that will happen), and then apply for jobs as a nurse. I would lose my nursing skills and have a gap, which would look bad on my resume and to future employers. I am honestly really scared to work as a nurse knowing that my asthma makes me vulnerable to this disease and I could die. This pandemic has really made it difficult for people with pre-existing health conditions to work in healthcare. Right now every healthcare worker is being exposed to a disease that is highly contagious, has no effective treatment, and no cure. This may sound like a stupid question but basically I’m asking if anyone has any ideas, suggestions, advice on what should I do about working as a nurse with my current health issue. Keep in mind I’m graduating with an associate degree in nursing and only have CNA and clinical experience. What nursing jobs/similar jobs to nursing/fields could I work that would "expose me the least" to COVID? The only “real solution” is to change careers to something “safer” but I really want to explore all my options before I take that route. Is anyone having the same problem as me? I appreciate any answers. I would also like to thank all healthcare and essential workers for sacrificing their lives every day to keep everyone safe. Know you are appreciated and loved.
  10. MsJenn_The_RN

    To be a coward, or to be a fool?

    My Dream Job as a New ICU Nurse I have always known that I was meant to be an ICU nurse. Call it intuition, divine planning, or blind ambition. Since I was a child, my dream was to heal the sick, to protect those too weak to protect themselves, and to nurture those in their most vulnerable states. From the moment I enrolled in nursing school, I knew that the ICU was the place I would call my home. No other fields ever interested me; I wanted to care for the "sickest of the sick." Every decision I made in school and during my first year as a nurse, came from an unshakeable need to land a position in the ICU. After pushing myself to the brink of insanity to keep the highest GPA in my graduating class, accepting a new-graduate position on a medical stepdown-ICU, and putting in countless hours of overtime and continuing critical care education, every sacrifice I had made up to that point paid off. I landed my dream job: a position as a Medical-ICU nurse. I had never in my life felt the sense of purpose, belonging, or fulfillment that I felt as I navigated my way through the first few weeks and fell into a rhythm on my new floor. Unprepared and Unprotected It's surreal to me, that this was only a few months ago, in November of 2019, when I felt so elated. In a month that has felt like a decade, my life as an ICU nurse has come to include only 2 realities: walking unprepared and unprotected into a warzone of death and isolation, and hiding in my home, for fear of infecting those I love the most with the very disease I'm fighting so hard against (COVID-19). Where I once felt excitement and purpose, I now feel hopelessness and defeat. I spend my waking hours trying to decide if it's better to be the coward who deserts her comrades on the battlefield, or the hard-headed, idealistic fool who goes down with a sinking ship in the name of duty. As the US assumes the title of "new COVID-19 Epicenter," I can't see a third, "preferable" choice for myself. By now, the internet is flooded with nurses' testimonials, showing photos and videos of the unbelievable lack of resources and protection we have as we care for an escalating number of COVID patients. In one week, my hospital went from having 2 COVID quarantine units, to 6, with even more projected to be converted. My floor itself is not a designated unit, but each of us is sent to the critical COVID unit, at least once a week. This upcoming week will be my third week in a row using the same N95 mask; I was lucky enough to get a new face shield last week, as mine was so beat-up that it finally broke. Last week, my mask didn't even fit to my face, because the elastic straps are so thinly stretched. I have been praying that it lasts me through another shift, because we're just about out. Someone stole almost all the boxes of masks. Skepticism and Mistrust In the blink of an eye, my naivety has been replaced by skepticism and outright mistrust; I cannot believe for a second that the measures we as nurses are being forced to take while we care for infected patients, are remotely safe. We aren't protected; we know we aren't protected; we're offended and resentful over being told that we are protected. ICU nurses are quick thinkers. We know that what we're being told about our protective equipment is a desperate quality control measure, designed to prevent a panic. Unexpected and Unprotected Exposure I had to get tested last week, as well. Our whole floor got exposed, unknowingly, for a solid 6-8 hours. ICU is all about priorities, right? A patient comes in for a cardiac arrest, we're working on keeping him/her alive, and dealing with extraneous issues later. When a patient is crashing, we're also all in the room, helping each other out, working as a single well-oiled machine. Unfortunately for us, after an admission was sent up from the ED without being tested, we learned that this particular patient was from a "hot spot" county, and had been presenting with all the cardinal COVID symptoms for the past week. I can't explain how it felt to hear my child sob when I told him that I couldn't pick him up for a few more days, because I might have the virus that was making everyone so sick, and I couldn't get close to him until I found out for sure. I felt unspeakable shame, like the most selfish human on the planet, for being so devoted to my "dream job." I sat all alone at my house for 4 days, crying and hating myself for becoming a nurse, until the test came back negative. Fear and Guilt Even after my negative test, I still feel the same nauseating fear and guilt, every waking moment. I can't sleep, and the few hours of sleep I have gotten, have been plagued by pandemic nightmares. The fear follows me everywhere I go, sometimes nagging in the back of my mind, sometimes churning in my gut. It's the same questions, every time: "How long before I'm infected? How do I tell my kid that I won't be coming home for a while, and he can't see me, because I'm so sick that it isn't safe? What if I pass it to my dad, who has been the only person I've allowed to keep my kid since this whole thing started? What if he, the man who devoted his whole life to raising, supporting, and protecting me, spends the last days of his life on a ventilator, alone, with no one to hold his hand and pray with him...because of me?" At these times, it seems impossible to set foot back in my hospital. Then, I think about my patients. These patients are living my worst fears. They're unable to be at home with their loved ones, for weeks. If they're sick enough, they can't even talk to their families, because they won't last without a mask...or a tube. They're fighting for their lives, while we have to update their grief-stricken families over the phone, and tell them that they can't visit and be with them at their most critical hour. For these patients, we nurses are the only human contact they get. For the ones who inevitably will not survive, our voices are the last that they hear. Our hands are the last that touch them. Our prayers may be the last said for them, and our tears may be the last shed for them before they leave this world. When I think about the horror these patients and their families are facing, I can't imagine not showing up for my next shift. No Answers - No Happy Ending As much as I'd like to believe the hopeful messages that this pandemic will soon pass and our society will again be safe and free, I don't see it. With everything in me, I don't see it. Never in a lifetime would I have guessed when I became a nurse, that it would mean putting my own life and the lives of those who I love the most at risk, to save the lives of others. I have asked seasoned nurses for an answer, and the answer I've come to is that there's no answer. There's no happy ending. Those of us who have chosen to walk away, have done their best; those of us who have stayed, are doing our best. Unfortunately, right now, the best we can do is nowhere close to enough to protect ourselves and those around us. For the time being, I will keep fighting the outward battle at the hospital against the pandemic for my patients. All the while, I'll keep silently fighting my own internal battle, until I figure out if it's better for me to be a coward and leave, or to be a fool and stay.
  11. J.Adderton

    Coping With Fear and Uncertainty

    As COVID-19 unfolds, we are faced with “unknowns” that seem to come from every direction. Will I get sick? Will I be furloughed? How will I make it financially? What will I do for childcare? How long will this outbreak last? These are scary times and for some, stress and anxiety makes everyday life difficult to navigate. A Traumatic Experience The COVID pandemic is a traumatic experience for many. Just think about all the different feelings and fears you’ve experienced over the past few weeks. And, sometimes, our emotional response can come all at the same time. Common reactions during COVID-19 may include: Anxiety and Fear Caused by thinking about what is to come in the future. Guilt Brought on by fear you may have infected someone. Anger Aimed towards the causative factors of the virus. Sadness Coming to realize you will be faced with a “new normal”. Most of us like to know what is coming so we can plan and feel prepared. When we don’t know what’s around the bend, we tend to focus only on the negative possibilities. Tips for Coping For most of us, uncertainty is an unavoidable part of the coronavirus. I recently searched out a few strategies and tips that can help us manage the fear and anxiety. Let's take a closer look. Be Kind to Yourself Everybody handles uncertainty differently. Therefore, don’t compare your reactions and thoughts to others. And, don’t beat yourself up if your tolerance for unpredictability is less than another’s. Practice Self Care Continue your healthy habits, eat well and get the sleep you need. Seek support from someone you trust. Practicing good self-care is something you can control during uncertain times. Reflect on a Past Event Most of us (if not all) have been faced with stressful events in the past…..and made it through. We often have the illusion that everything in our past was certain. When anxiety and fear begin to mount up, think about what helped you through a difficult time in the past. Use Your Own Advice What would you say to a friend who told you about a fear or worry? Thinking about your challenges from the outside may provide you with insight and new coping strategies. Keep Your Feet Where They Are OK, maybe not literally, but it does help to stay in the present. Worrying about the “what ifs” the future may hold can be daunting. You can reduce your fear by focusing on the moment, the here and now. Certainly, it is important to think ahead, but avoid planning so far ahead that you feel overwhelmed by all the details. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts It’s common to struggle with negative thinking patterns in stressful situations. Do you recognize any of these thoughts? “What if….” Ex. “What if I get COVID-19?” “What will happen…” Ex. “What will happen if my hours are cut at work?” Test Your Reality When you recognize your self-talk is going haywire, try challenging your thoughts. In many cases, what we fear will happen is not actual reality. Here are two strategies to figure out if your self-talk is based in reality or a result of fear and anxiety. If you are stuck in “what if’s”, test your reality if there is evidence to support your self-talk, or is it your own projection of what will occur. Ask yourself if you are ignoring any positives in the situation and jumping straight to worse case scenarios. Final Thought This article is being written at a time where we are all living under “stay at home” orders. It's easy to become isolated and feel separate from the rest of the world. But, we can face our current challenges by practicing self-care, reaching out to another person and sharing our experiences. Finally, when you feel overcome with fear, think of 5 ways to be thankful and embrace hope.
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