Remembering Nurses During Covid-19
2020 has been a different year. A year that people decades from now will look back on as the year of the coronavirus. For people outside of the medical community, it is important to understand what nurses are going through during this outbreak.
While not every nurse is working directly with patients who have tested positive for Covid-19, nurses are continually exposed in one way or another with patients who have the potential of being infected with the virus without realizing it.
Because the only "safe" way of being a nurse is leaving the nursing field altogether, there have been cases where nurses have decided that this was the year to retire, or have decided to work less to not expose themselves to the virus.
When the virus was spreading rapidly throughout America in March of 2020, there was a start of some amazing recognition of nurses throughout the country. Restaurants gave free food or discounts to nurses, tv commercials showed heroic nurses wearing PPE, and radios gave shoutouts to nurses everywhere.
While there are still many companies and organizations that are recognizing nurses, it is still possible for nurses to feel forgotten. Hospital organizations have had hard decisions to make with how to conduct business. Just because nurses are able to work through this pandemic doesn't mean that they are immune to making less money. Even some brave nurses heading to travel assignments have had their contracts cut and have been forced to relocate to a different "surge" site. This of course costs money and wasted time.
This information is important for others to understand because nurses are not reaping the benefits of coronavirus. As mentioned previously, some nurses are making less money in 2020 than they did in 2019.
Another obvious variable to nurses making less money in 2020 is the nurses who became infected with Covid-19 causing them to miss weeks of work.
This understanding debunks the myth that nurses are "making bank" during the pandemic. This is not to say that there aren't nurses who are making good money by working on coronavirus floors, but as mentioned, even these "travel" nurses have had their fair share of missed income from the variety of variables causing them to not make as much as they previously thought.
For society, it is important to remember our nurses. It is stressful for all nurses, not just the nurses working directly with coronavirus patients. If a nurse is not able to work directly with patients, there are jobs available that allow nurses to work from home but they are few and far between. This forces nurses to have to work with direct patient care placing nurses in harm's way of contamination.
While there may not be a dramatic "death rate" of working nurses, there are plenty of nurses who have been infected with Covid-19. And just because the death rate isn't dramatic doesn't mean that nurses being infected with Covid-19 is not important. Nobody likes being sick and being sick for weeks at a time and not being able to work creates stress.
Remember all nurses, and remember that is difficult to know what it is really like for nurses working through this pandemic. While there are many challenges everyone is facing during 2020, nurses are a group of people worth remembering. When we say that nurses are on the "front lines" remember that this is a literal statement. Nurses around America are taking care of sick patients, walking into rooms where there is not always a guarantee for safety, and most likely doing so without any extra compensation.
2020 will be remembered for a lot of things, hopefully, the awareness of the ruthless awesomeness and bravery of all nurses is remembered.
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