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Your Experience in Caring for People Diagnosed With COVID

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Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

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Hey everyone, 

Again, hope you are all doing well. 

My question today is what has your experience been with caring for people who were diagnosed with COVID? Today, a co-worker sent me a video through facebook of all these different doctors from around the world, saying that basically, COVID 19 is not real and that they would not vaccinate anyone for COVID. 

Currently, my facility is experiencing an outbreak, and the amount of people who have been infected is overwhelmingly large. In past outbreaks, whether it be GI or respiratory, there have never been more than 20 people contagious at once. So far, a few people have passed away and a few have recovered. 

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

On 12/11/2020 at 4:26 PM, Newgurl17 said:

Hey everyone, 

Again, hope you are all doing well. 

My question today is what has your experience been with caring for people who were diagnosed with COVID? Today, a co-worker sent me a video through facebook of all these different doctors from around the world, saying that basically, COVID 19 is not real and that they would not vaccinate anyone for COVID. 

Currently, my facility is experiencing an outbreak, and the amount of people who have been infected is overwhelmingly large. In past outbreaks, whether it be GI or respiratory, there have never been more than 20 people contagious at once. So far, a few people have passed away and a few have recovered. 

This just makes me feel really good about my decision to never open a facebook account. I swear I sometimes feel like social media has lowered our collective average IQ by 50 points or so and that people’s ability to critically think is rapidly diminishing. If a coworker of mine helped spread disinformation like that, I would seriously question their professional judgment. 

What proof do we have that these people on the video are actually physicians? Anyone can post anything on social media. It does not mean we have to believe them.

I’m assuming you don’t since you’ve cared for Covid patients in your facility?

The anti-vaccine campaign has been nearing a crescendo these past couple of weeks. It’s no coincidence. There are several viable vaccine candidates likely to be approved in the near future. That’s why we’re seeing this increase in traffic. Expect to see more dissemination of disinformation in the coming weeks and months. 
 

Since you asked about poster’s experience with caring for Covid patients. I don’t really have any as I’ve stayed in my regular position. I’m not in the U.S., but the hospital I work in is a level I trauma center that has converted entire floors and ICUs to dedicated Covid units and many of my coworkers have moved to them temporarily as we’ve cancelled/ postponed some of our non-emergent/elective surgeries. 

Newgurl17, CNA, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

On 12/11/2020 at 5:07 PM, macawake said:

This just makes me feel really good about my decision to never open a facebook account. I swear I sometimes feel like social media has lowered our collective average IQ by 50 points or so and that people’s ability to critically think is rapidly diminishing. If a coworker of mine helped spread disinformation like that, I would seriously question their professional judgment. 

What proof do we have that these people on the video are actually physicians? Anyone can post anything on social media. It does not mean we have to believe them.

I’m assuming you don’t since you’ve cared for Covid patients in your facility?

The anti-vaccine campaign has been nearing a crescendo these past couple of weeks. It’s no coincidence. There are several viable vaccine candidates likely to be approved in the near future. That’s why we’re seeing this increase in traffic. Expect to see more dissemination of disinformation in the coming weeks and months. 

Since you asked about poster’s experience with caring for Covid patients. I don’t really have any as I’ve stayed in my regular position. I’m not in the U.S., but the hospital I work in is a level I trauma center that has converted entire floors and ICUs to dedicated Covid units and many of my coworkers have moved to them temporarily as we’ve cancelled/ postponed some of our non-emergent/elective surgeries. 

Right?? OH absolutely not, I don't believe that half hour video at all! That's why I had to stop watching halfway through. It was just another one of those dumb things that you see on the news, like popular people participating in anti-mask protests??? It was just really strange to watch and felt like it was almost scripted, maybe actors pretending to be doctors/nurses. The video really sparked some frustration in me as to how people can really think that COVID is a "scam" and I was going to look more into the amount of people who think this is real/fake, but I've since calmed down 😂 Made me incredibly curious as to what these non-belivers have to say about what's going on. 

gere7404, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency Services, Cardiac Step-Down. Has 5 years experience.

The majority of covid patients I've seen in the ER come in with mild symptoms but high anxiety because they had a positive swab. They’re convinced they need to be hospitalized solely because they’ve got a covid diagnosis. 

there was a pretty bad outbreak at a memory care facility and it seemed like they tried to send their whole population to us due to “altered mental status,” which was really annoying because they kept trying to leave their pods with no masks on. 

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 27 years experience.

As an ICU provider, I only see the severe cases...patients intubated on lung protective ventilation settings and being proned continuously for 18 hours with PaO2's in the 50's and some with PaCO2 that are >100.  Some patients go into multi-organ failure on continuous dialysis, pressors, VTE's, strokes, etc.  We've had "successes" and deaths.  I put "successes" in quotation marks because we've also admitted post-COVID-19 patients from other institutions who made it through the entire syndrome of lung disease caused by COVID-19 but now has disability and severe irreversible lung injury that they are being considered for lung transplantation.  Because I see COVID-19 in it's extreme form, I am annoyed at any outlet of misinformation being spread on social media.

Newgurl17, CNA, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

38 minutes ago, juan de la cruz said:

As an ICU provider, I only see the severe cases...patients intubated on lung protective ventilation settings and being proned continuously for 18 hours with PaO2's in the 50's and some with PaCO2 that are >100.  Some patients go into multi-organ failure on continuous dialysis, pressors, etc.  We've had "successes" and deaths.  I put "successes" in quotation marks because we've also admitted post-COVID-19 patients from other institutions who made it through the entire syndrome of lung disease caused by COVID-19 but now has disability and severe irreversible lung injury that they are being considered for lung transplantation.  Because I see COVID-19 in it's extreme form, I am annoyed at any outlet of misinformation being spread on social media.

Thanks for sharing your experience. It's interesting to know from other settings. Yes I'm extremely annoyed about things being posted on social media as well. 

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

2 hours ago, Newgurl17 said:

Yes I'm extremely annoyed about things being posted on social media as well. 

So am I.

I've had to 'hide' some of my friends on face book. They are want to argue, insisting that COVID has been blown all out of proportion. When I post deaths, hospitalizations, etc., they insist that the numbers are false.

Gah!

Newgurl17, CNA, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

9 hours ago, Kitiger said:

So am I.

I've had to 'hide' some of my friends on face book. They are want to argue, insisting that COVID has been blown all out of proportion. When I post deaths, hospitalizations, etc., they insist that the numbers are false.

Gah!

Same here! Even something like posting a meme about using gloves stirs the pot! You really can't cure stupid 😕

gere7404, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency Services, Cardiac Step-Down. Has 5 years experience.

15 hours ago, juan de la cruz said:

As an ICU provider, I only see the severe cases...patients intubated on lung protective ventilation settings and being proned continuously for 18 hours with PaO2's in the 50's and some with PaCO2 that are >100.  Some patients go into multi-organ failure on continuous dialysis, pressors, VTE's, strokes, etc.  We've had "successes" and deaths.  I put "successes" in quotation marks because we've also admitted post-COVID-19 patients from other institutions who made it through the entire syndrome of lung disease caused by COVID-19 but now has disability and severe irreversible lung injury that they are being considered for lung transplantation.  Because I see COVID-19 in it's extreme form, I am annoyed at any outlet of misinformation being spread on social media.

It’s weird, in the ED I see hundreds of covid patients a week that either had no idea they have it or that have extremely mild cases but high anxiety. I had it and was back at work in 10 days with no residual effects, as has many of the ER staff. Because I rarely see covid-19 in it’s extreme form, I’m annoyed by everyone thinking all patients end up how you described. 

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

On 12/14/2020 at 5:26 AM, gere7404 said:

It’s weird, in the ED I see hundreds of covid patients a week that either had no idea they have it or that have extremely mild cases but high anxiety. I had it and was back at work in 10 days with no residual effects, as has many of the ER staff. Because I rarely see covid-19 in it’s extreme form, I’m annoyed by everyone thinking all patients end up how you described. 

I'm a school nurse, but one that has been working with school staff and students that have tested positive. We test weekly anyone on campus now, so catching more positives. Offering a different perspective since I get to also see this folks regularly post recovery.  

A few had no symptoms or mild symptoms and back at work in 10 days. A few others described it as the "worse flu ever" and were out at least 14 days and when they returned, the fatigue was ever present. They would tell me how drained they were by 2 PM. And this has lasted weeks for folks - folks that are otherwise healthy 20 and 30 something folks. 

The students are faring better - the younger they are, the faster they have been bouncing back. But a few high school kids are also dealing with lasting extreme fatigue - described to me by one kid like "I have mono again."

On 12/14/2020 at 6:47 AM, JenTheSchoolRN said:

I'm a school nurse, but one that has been working with school staff and students that have tested positive. We test weekly anyone on campus now, so catching more positives. Offering a different perspective since I get to also see this folks regularly post recovery.  

A few had no symptoms or mild symptoms and back at work in 10 days. A few others described it as the "worse flu ever" and were out at least 14 days and when they returned, the fatigue was ever present. They would tell me how drained they were by 2 PM. And this has lasted weeks for folks - folks that are otherwise healthy 20 and 30 something folks. 

The students are faring better - the younger they are, the faster they have been bouncing back. But a few high school kids are also dealing with lasting extreme fatigue - described to me by one kid like "I have mono again."

I am also a school nurse at elementary level (k-5)and seeing basically the same.  The kids that are reported positive are doing great - symptoms have not been bad at all if any.  Its the teachers and parents that call in reporting they are positive where the symptoms are mild, flu like to a few that are really sick and out 14+ days.

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

I work in an FQHC in an inner-city area.  We are running several Covid testing sites around the city (hundreds of tests daily).  While I am no longer out swabbing noses, it often falls to me to call and inform the positive patients (several dozen a day) and report them to DPH.

The majority have no symptoms.  Another sizeable chunk have mild cough, fever, achiness, diarrhea.  We have had only a very few-- since March-- admitted to hospitals.  As far as I'm aware, we have had zero deaths, out of the thousands of tests we have run.  Our numbers, of course, reflect the ambulatory population of our city.

I am most certainly not a Covid denier, nor an anti-masker, nor anti-vaccine, or any of that nonsense.  This pandemic is real and I totally ache for the ICU providers who are seeing the worst of it.  BUT.  I have family members who teach elementary school, who post online that they are "lambs to the slaughter" because they're being required to teach, and I'm just like... No you aren't.  I mean, when I talk to someone who has anxiety about Covid, obviously I'm very empathetic and I understand that anxiety does not follow rules of rationality.  But in my mind, I am looking at the numbers that I actually see on the ground and it is just very different from what some people imagine.

4 minutes ago, CommunityRNBSN said:

I work in an FQHC in an inner-city area.  We are running several Covid testing sites around the city (hundreds of tests daily).  While I am no longer out swabbing noses, it often falls to me to call and inform the positive patients (several dozen a day) and report them to DPH.

The majority have no symptoms.  Another sizeable chunk have mild cough, fever, achiness, diarrhea.  We have had only a very few-- since March-- admitted to hospitals.  As far as I'm aware, we have had zero deaths, out of the thousands of tests we have run.  Our numbers, of course, reflect the ambulatory population of our city.

I am most certainly not a Covid denier, nor an anti-masker, nor anti-vaccine, or any of that nonsense.  This pandemic is real and I totally ache for the ICU providers who are seeing the worst of it.  BUT.  I have family members who teach elementary school, who post online that they are "lambs to the slaughter" because they're being required to teach, and I'm just like... No you aren't.  I mean, when I talk to someone who has anxiety about Covid, obviously I'm very empathetic and I understand that anxiety does not follow rules of rationality.  But in my mind, I am looking at the numbers that I actually see on the ground and it is just very different from what some people imagine.

What is your positivity rate? In what general area of the country are you?

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

3 minutes ago, toomuchbaloney said:

What is your positivity rate? In what general area of the country are you?

I'm in New England.  Back in the Summer, we were down at like 1% and were quite proud of ourselves. But at the moment it's out of control and today it is 6%.  Recently, within the past week, it was at almost 9%.  That's the state-reported number, but they have been approximately in line with our clinic's numbers.

spotangel, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 32 years experience.

I am in NYC and our numbers are climbing. The first wave of "deployment" of Clinic staff to the hospital has started. Our hospitals have designated Covid units and daily we get an update on the increasing numbers admitted into the various hospitals within our system. I worked in the hospital during the last pandemic and the patients were extremely sick, scared,some confused, some trying to make a break out of their rooms and agitated, no family allowed, terrible unsafe staffing and minimal PPEs. We are getting symptomatic patients in our clinics that are testing positive but do not require hospitalization yet. Employees are testing positive and we are trying to be socially distant with each other especially during lunch break in the clinic. I avoid the break room at all times! It is all real and since there is so much misinformation, I keep my eyes open to what is happening in the community where I work and where I live! Our frontline staff are getting vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.We are bracing for the next wave of the pandemic, a bit more prepared this time around. Keep safe you all! I tend to ignore these  so called "real videos' from "doctors and nurses" who don't have a clue of what is happening but certainly have their own agenda and propaganda! When it hits home, they suddenly become believers and now want the real nurse and provider not their video counterpart! 

RuggerKJ RN, BSN

Specializes in Informatics, Critical Care, Case Management. Has 10 years experience.

I've worked most of 2020 as a staff RN in an urban community hospital intensive care unit. The census was so full that in order to have a clean ICU we had PACU nurses take crash courses in critical care just so we can have a clean unit for people to go to. I would also float to COVID-19 units where patients had mild to moderate to severe symptoms. So, I typically saw a range of severity from dry cough to intubation (sometimes would even witness this progression on the same patient struggling for weeks on optiflow O2). I've seen people in their 20s-30s die from COVID-19 and no apparent medical history. I think I've had 11 drips/IV bags at the most infusing into one patient.

I've also seen an elderly couple extubated and survive after almost 3 months in the hospital. Their story made it on the news.

I once had a mother who had caught it from the son who had participated in a protest. The mother died after a month and the son had to live with that guilt. For a while each nurse's goal was to keep their patient a live until the next shift. It seemed like we had progressively gotten better at treating the disease until mid-August when it started to feel like March again. 

I always try to keep in mind that we see the worst cases in ICU. But I do get annoyed at people who are seemingly oblivious to it all (by choice) and who outright deny the severity of this disease. Even if the vast majority of people only have mild symptoms, why even be flippant about the spread of Covid? Incidence is directly proportional to mortality. 

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

When I worked the covid floor when this first started just about all of them were stable with mild symptoms (fever, cough). Then the nursing homes started transferring pt's and they were heavy but also stable. I no longer work the covid floor but know people who do. It sounds like most have mild cases with a few sprinkled in with more moderate symptoms. Acuity is everywhere from independent to total, oriented to disoriented/psych. Worse cases go to the unit.

We've had outbreaks on the floors and in places like radiology. As a result the hospital has surveillance testing done. So far to my knowledge most have tested negative. 

After turkey day we had a surge and it has finally leveled off just in time for Christmas, which I assume will lead to another surge that will last until mid January. To prepare we did open another floor dedicated to covid which brings it to two for the hospital and the MICU acting as the covid unit. All non-essential procedures have been put on hold.

Newgurl17, CNA, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

What was it like for those of you working in close contact with covid positive peoole? Our outbreak started a little after mid Novmeber and finally ended after mid January. In total, almost all the residents had tested positive and about 13 people had passed away. From what I've heard, staffing levels were horrific on the unit. I can only imagine how stressful it must have been for the staff, families, and the people who had to find people to work on the unit.... Has anyone experienced a large number of deaths in such a short period of time? How did you cope at work?

Edited by Newgurl17