As of today Monday, April 13th, Nassau County has around 25,000 confirmed cases, 300 patients recovered, and 900 deaths of COVID-19. There are about 17 million people who work in healthcare in the U.S and roughly half are considered frontline workers. During this pandemic, individuals and essential workers put their health at risk to improve the overall health of community members. Doctors, Nurses, and PAs are giving instant care to those who are ill, need life support, and people who are at risk of contracting COVID-19. As of now, there is not a specific treatment for COVID-19, but scientists are working hard to develop effective treatments. Drugs previously developed to treat other viral infections are being tested to see if they produce antibodies to fight the coronavirus. COVID-19 treatments or vaccines are either ongoing or recruiting patients. During this global-wide pandemic, something you could keep in mind is this quote from Fred Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
The COVID-19 pandemic is harshly impacting the day-to-day life of front line workers across the globe. Because of the increase in confirmed cases, hospitals are running out of protective gear including masks that are given to each patient. Instead of disposing of your masks after each use, nurses have to keep each one for the full shift. Hospitals all over the state and around the country will only have enough to give nurses a single mask per shift unless given more supplies. A critical care nurse from the Washington States says, “This crisis is unlike anything I’ve seen in my ten years as a critical care nurse.” Throughout this particular issue of COVID-19, the problem is that essential works need masks but are not receiving them. Employees must wear gloves when having hand contact with blood, gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons are the needed PPE when treating patients in hospitals. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, prices have surged. Surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have tripled and gowns have doubled. To secure that health workers are safe, these measures need to be put into place without speculations.
Northwell Health is New York’s largest healthcare provider and has helped many people get through the COVID-19 outbreak. They have been on the front lines and are among the first US health systems to test and treat COVID-19. This new reality has caused every unit in every department of every floor to be unbelievably busy and stressful for hospital workers. In Northwell hospitals, lack of PPE has not been an issue, health care workers have a steady supply of the required equipment protecting them while treating patients. Compared to other hospitals during this pandemic, Northwell Health has been obtaining supplies from across the globe and established a centralized warehouse. This warehouse is the distribution hub for all supplies across all 23 Northwell hospitals. Northwell Health CEO, Micheal Dowling, and his leadership team have been key to securing the needed supplies to protect all staff during this crisis. He has been regularly communicating and visiting staff across all hospitals ensuring staff of all of the efforts being made to protect and support the health care workers. To all of Northwell’s employees, he has been their helper by staying calm and keeping them informed during this time. Micheal Dowling encourages them to always perform their best when a challenge is but at hand. He demonstrates how staff should unite and work as a team when a part of a global pandemic.
In late December of 2019, the COVID-19 outbreak had started to increase cases, and everyone aimed to support our front-line medical workers. Health experts advised that people should stay home as much as possible and distance ourselves from others in public. The United Nations states “As the coronavirus pandemic spreads to more than 200 countries and territories, killing more than 20,000 people, the United Nations is redoubling its support for frontline responders who are working around the clock to save lives.” During these challenging times, a problem we’re facing now is a stretched market supply of protective gear. Health care workers are working to ensure that vital supplies are given to hospitals immediately to treat patients efficiently. Compared to hospitals that need more supplies, Northwell, as of now, does not have a shortage of supplies and is scouring every place that we possibly can. They have built up their inventory of supplies so we don’t run short. When dealing with these ups and downs, it’s important to find positives and take care of yourself. Everyone is doing the best they can to help.
“Life as a critical care nurse in the age of COVID-19.” Life as a critical care nurse in the age of COVID-19, Washington State Nurses Association, 7 Apr. 2020, www.wsna.org/news/2020/life-as-a-critical-care-nurse-in-the-age-of-covid-19. Accessed 17 Apr. 2020.
Michael Dowling Coronavirus Update: March 23, 2020. Northwell Health, 2020.
“The United Nations supports the frontline COVID-19 response.” The United Nations supports frontline COVID-19 response, 7 Apr. 2020, www.un.org/en/un-coronavirus-communications-team/united-nations-supports-frontline-covid-19-response. Accessed 17 Apr. 2020.