"Right now, nurses don’t feel like heroes, we feel expendable.”
A nurse performs tests on a possible COVID-19 patient inside a tent on the grounds of the Sophiahemmet private hospital in Stockholm on April 22, 2020.Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP - Getty Images
For weeks, Kelly Stanton wasn’t sleeping. She lay in bed gripped with the anxiety of having to go to work at a Washington, D.C.-area hospital not knowing if she might bring home the coronavirus to her husband and their three children.
It was inevitable, she thought. She wasn’t protected.
Stanton, a veteran nurse of 28 years, had seen federal safety protocols for health care workers begin to crumble amid the global pandemic by early March.
Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding personal protective equipment, or PPEs, changed consistently. At Stanton’s hospital, nurses were told they would have limited access to an already low stockpile of PPEs and were being asked to reuse single-use masks multiple times, she said.
“Never in my time as a nurse have I seen this,” she said. “It was a position I could never have imagined I’d be in, even in my wildest dreams.” Read more >>