Home Health News Nurses Fume After North Dakota Lets COVID-Infected Medical Workers Stay on the Job – The Daily Beast

Nurses Fume After North Dakota Lets COVID-Infected Medical Workers Stay on the Job – The Daily Beast

15 min read
37
2

At one hospital in North Dakota, nurses are being forced to test patients for the deadly coronavirus with only a surgical mask. And across the state, scores of nurses are working several overnight shifts in a row, scared to speak up as North Dakota grapples with a rapid coronavirus spike that’s left hospitals facing a dangerous shortage of beds.

On Monday, state officials announced a seemingly counterproductive band-aid to combat the tidal wave of cases that have overwhelmed the mostly rural hospital system: COVID-19 positive nurses and other health-care workers can come to work.

Now, nurses are mad as hell.

“Nurses are very highly trusted in our community, and if we are saying we can go back to work after testing positive—how do we expect the public to take this pandemic seriously?” Tessa Johnson, president of the North Dakota Nurses Association, told The Daily Beast.

“I have heard that from a lot of people that they are at their breaking point. I think we are going to lose nurses from this. It has affected everyone in a different way,” she added.

But while several North Dakota nurses told The Daily Beast they are “terrified” of the virus, they insist they’ll still show up for their increasingly dangerous jobs because “that’s what nurses do.”

“Nurses don’t feel safe. They don’t feel like they have adequate PPE and everyone is concerned about short staffing and they don’t feel supported by state leadership,” Johnson, who is also the executive director at a senior long-term care facility, said. “But they are going to continue to go to work and put themselves at risk because that’s just what nurses do—even if they are hanging by a thread.”

As of Monday, North Dakota medical professionals with asymptomatic COVID-19 cases can continue to work in COVID-19 units at hospitals and nursing homes. It’s one of several steps taken by hospitals and officials as part of their “surge plans” to curtail the virus that has moved the entire state into the “high-risk” category.

“This applies only to COVID-positive health-care workers who do not have symptoms and they are allowed only to work COVID units around patients who already have the virus,” North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said Monday.

The move, Burgum insisted, aligns with CDC guidelines that allow asymptomatic medical personnel to work during severe staff shortages.

These changes come even as elected leaders in North Dakota—which, according to one survey, has the lowest rate of residents using face coverings in the country—repeatedly refuse to institute a mask mandate or any other forceful COVID-19 mitigation plan.

One North Dakota nurse, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of professional retribution, said the state’s unprecedented step to allow those with the virus to treat patients “is short-sighted at best—and completely detrimental at worst.”

“We need state officials to take decisive, hard-line decisions to combat this virus or else our hospital system is completely going to collapse,” the nurse said, adding that she has several colleagues and friends who have had the virus. “Allowing health care workers with the disease to treat patients with the same disease is not going to help anything. It only makes the problem worse.”

Another nurse, who works in Bismarck, told The Daily Beast that she doesn’t know how much longer she is willing to put herself and her family in danger for a state that doesn’t seem to “have her back anymore.”

Johnson pointed out that COVID-positive nurses won’t be isolated with virus patients and could spread the deadly virus to their colleagues in “bathrooms and dining rooms and break rooms and elevators.”

Not only is it “unrealistic” to contain a “highly contagious” virus to specific hospital wings, she said, but the new measure “is only going to make things worse” because it will add to nurses’ stress and prevent them from getting rest in areas of the hospital “where they should feel safe.”

As the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the Midwest, North and South Dakota currently have the nation’s worst rate of deaths per capita. And while the coronavirus is spiking at an uncontrolled rate in dozens of states across the country, North Dakota’s daily average for new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths put the state at the top, according to ProPublica.

The North Dakota Department of Health on Thursday reported 1,801 new cases in the state, bringing the total to 59,173, with a positivity rate of about 18.7 percent. Last week, the state had 171 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, the highest per capita rate in the country, according to the CDC.

Officials also revealed 11 people died from the virus on Thursday, bringing the state’s death toll to 697. The dead include David Andahl, a North Dakota Republican state legislative candidate who passed away in October—but still ended up winning his seat.

Health experts are concerned about the trajectory of the state of 762,062 Americans, especially as neighboring states experience similar surges.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, who specializes in infectious diseases, believes North Dakota’s virus trajectory officially puts it in “crisis.”

“This state does not have a lot of medical resources, meaning it has a low threshold to be overwhelmed if something goes awry,” Adalja told The Daily Beast, adding that the state’s surge “is a lesson for what happens for when you don’t plan for cases.”

On Wednesday, the health department revealed that some residents have tested positive for COVID-19 multiple times, and officials said they’ve launched an investigation to determine whether those cases are, in fact, reinfections.

“Our cases are people who have tested positive twice, developed symptoms a second time, most with more than 90 days in between positive results,” a health department spokesperson told The Forum.

Adalja, however, insists North Dakota’s decision to allow health-care staff continue to work with “acute infections” is more “a sign of the times” than a dangerous decision that could lead to re-infections.

“Re-infection is something that is very rare. These medical personnel are acute cases working with patients that are already infected,” Adalja said. “That being said, it will get worse in North Dakota before it gets better.”

Burgum has moved every county in the state to a “high-risk” level, signified by the color orange. The level, one step below shut-down measures never used in the state, limits all bars and event venues to 25 percent capacity. On Monday, Burgum outlined several other initiatives to stem the crisis, including hiring EMTs and paramedics to run testing sites.

“Our hospitals are under enormous pressure now,” Burgum added. “We can see the future two, three weeks out, and we know that we have severe constraints.”

Sanford Health, one of the state’s largest health-care systems, also announced Thursday it will be sending hospital patients to a nearby nursing home in Fargo to recover in an attempt to free up hospital space. According to The Forum, the nursing home is opening a wing that will provide 24 additional beds for a hospital system that is already at “very high capacity.”

The North Dakota Nurses Association has blasted state leadership for allowing COVID-positive medical workers to keep working. In a Wednesday night statement, they said that it should be a health-care workers’ choice to stay on the job while COVID-positive—rather than their employers.

“If a nurse believes they are not well enough to provide safe patient care and chooses not to work under these circumstances, employers should not retaliate against the nurse for making this decision,” the statement read, adding that the state should be pressing COVID-19 mitigation guidelines, like mandating mask-wearing and social distance.

The North Dakota Emergency Nurses Association on Wednesday night also released a statement against the new policy, urging lawmakers to institute a statewide mask mandate and other CDC mitigation guidelines before resorting to a “crisis strategy.”

Johnson said nurses are already putting themselves on the line for their patients daily.

“They are probably positive health-care workers who haven’t been tested,” Johnson said. “Everyone is already putting themselves at risk for this virus. We’re preparing for a very, very dark week to eight weeks unless a drastic change happens.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Source link

37 Comments

  1. Simone Matkins

    January 20, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying this info.

    Reply

  2. sewage treatment plant

    January 22, 2021 at 5:00 am

    You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

    Reply

  3. Catharine Dendy

    January 22, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Rmdplay | Seo Bureau | Seo Specialist | Zoekmachine Optimalisatie Giessenburg 8 2135 EN Hoofddorp (023)4100777 https://g.page/rmdplay Seo Bureau

    Reply

  4. Philippines Seat Leasing

    January 23, 2021 at 1:44 am

    Nice, post. I work in the Philippines actualy but love US content.

    Reply

  5. Melissia Asrari

    January 23, 2021 at 9:38 am

    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little evaluation on this. And he in actual fact purchased me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If attainable, as you become experience, would you thoughts updating your blog with extra details? It’s highly helpful for me. Massive thumb up for this weblog submit!

    Reply

  6. Cleopatra Borbon

    January 23, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    Reply

  7. Muriel Treichel

    January 23, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks , I have just been searching for info about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have found out till now. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the supply?

    Reply

  8. Mana Schraeder

    January 24, 2021 at 6:17 am

    I have read some good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to create such a fantastic informative site.

    Reply

  9. Sabra Gruen

    January 24, 2021 at 6:36 am

    Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

    Reply

  10. check my site

    January 27, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favourite reason seemed to be on the web the easiest thing to understand of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilst folks consider worries that they just don’t recognise about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out the entire thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

    Reply

  11. Marlon Scheffel

    January 27, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    Reply

  12. Best CBD for Pets

    February 1, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    What an fantastic way of looking at things.

    Reply

  13. www.theintouchnews.com politics

    February 1, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great site.

    Reply

  14. LA Weekly CBD Oil

    February 4, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Exactly the kind of material that enriches the net. Thanks!

    Reply

  15. laweekly.com

    February 4, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    The only thing I cry over is not having found your blog before.

    Reply

  16. CBD Sex Lube

    February 4, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Your manner of addressin this subject is both fantastic as well as inspiring.

    Reply

  17. CBD Lube

    February 4, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    What an outstanding manner of taking a look at points.

    Reply

  18. instagram takipci hilesi

    February 7, 2021 at 8:01 am

    Trmedya sitesi olarak bizlerin sahip olduğu genel hizmet prensibi en hızlı ve güvenli şekilde ilgili satın alınan takipçileri hesaplara gönderebilmektir.

    Reply

  19. 메이저사이트추천

    February 9, 2021 at 10:45 am

    Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  20. 먹튀검증사이트

    February 11, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article plus the rest of the website is very good.

    Reply

  21. Kandra Auker

    February 13, 2021 at 1:27 am

  22. 우리카지노쿠폰

    February 17, 2021 at 7:13 am

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I will send this post to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  23. scrapality

    February 17, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    Love the manner you cover this topic.

    Reply

  24. Hiedi Sep

    February 20, 2021 at 4:57 am

  25. Kristine Stroupe

    February 20, 2021 at 7:31 am

  26. semenax vs rolex

    February 20, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    I simply wanted to jot down a brief note so as to appreciate you for all the splendid ways you are placing at this site. My particularly long internet research has finally been rewarded with extremely good facts and strategies to write about with my pals. I ‘d mention that many of us website visitors actually are really fortunate to be in a fine community with so many outstanding professionals with very helpful methods. I feel pretty fortunate to have encountered your web pages and look forward to tons of more excellent times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything.

    Reply

  27. Tran Falterman

    February 21, 2021 at 10:59 am

  28. 샌즈카지노주소

    February 21, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    You are so cool! I do not think I have read anything like that before. So nice to find someone with some original thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the web, someone with some originality!

    Reply

  29. Gale Garzone

    February 22, 2021 at 9:47 pm

  30. 메리트카지노주소

    February 23, 2021 at 9:31 am

    I really like reading an article that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

    Reply

  31. https://www.sfweekly.com/

    February 23, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    You have covered this subject properly.

    Reply

  32. Fernando Wesley

    February 23, 2021 at 8:46 pm

  33. 메리트카지노

    February 24, 2021 at 6:03 am

    I couldnít resist commenting. Very well written!

    Reply

  34. Ladawn Ferrer

    February 24, 2021 at 11:23 pm

  35. Hoyt Kaman

    February 25, 2021 at 6:00 pm

  36. carbon steel pipe fittings Distributors

    February 26, 2021 at 5:16 am

    You’re a really useful internet site; couldn’t make it without ya!

    Reply

  37. Justine Maglio

    February 26, 2021 at 10:34 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

MetaBoost Connection Reviews – Does Meredith Shirk's MetaBoosting Diet and Recipes Program Work? – San Francisco Examiner

MetaBoost Connection by Meredith Shirk is a complete exercise and fitness program that has…