First off, I want to thank everyone on this forum for sharing their experiences. I thought long and hard about posting this because my experience seems trivial, but I wanted to share my thoughts anyway.
I’m not a nurse (yet, I just got accepted to a BSN program), but am currently an on-call NA at a SUDS facility. I was really excited about this job, as I want to work in public health as a nurse, but then covid hit and I’m becoming increasingly weary of going to work.
We are still admitting patients from the general public. Most are unhoused folks who are severely immunocompromised, and we have no way of testing them during admission. It’s a temp and symptom screen only. There are policies put in place to encourage social distancing at mitigate spread, but the facility still houses very vulnerable people in a dorm setting. I’m becoming increasingly worried that the virus will be brought into the clinic and spread like wildfire among these compromised patients. Or even that I’m a carrier and I have already/will infect patients or my coworkers. Management continues to maintain that we are low risk, but I just can’t shake this bad feeling of impending disaster. I feel like I’m being gaslit with no ground to stand on, and that I am abandoning my duty to help these people who are struggling. Policies are constantly changing with miscommunication, and I haven’t even been fully trained on all of my job duties.
Some workers in our clinic were able to get properly fitted N95s, but then I was told surgical masks are more than acceptable and I’m not able to get fitted. I know we aren’t an active covid facility, but how can we know that for sure? PPE is now locked up and only accessible via the management. I’ve had the same non-fitted N95 and face shield for weeks.
I feel so strongly that I want to help people, but I also don’t want to risk my health or the health of my patients right now. I don’t want to add to the surge of cases in my community. I also feel like our PPE could be put to use in our local hospitals, and that I don’t deserve to wear any at all because I’m not working with known covid+ patients.
Long story short, I’m scared too, but I feel guilty for being scared because I’ve been told I’m not in that much danger. I don’t know what to think or what information to trust at this point, and I am prepared to walk away.