COVID-19 pandemic takes toll on nurses

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — It takes a special type of person to become a nurse, and the profession remains on the front lines throughout the entire pandemic. We have seen the pictures of nursing staff covered in gowns and masks to prevent contracting COVID-19, but what we cannot see is the trauma being on the frontlines causes.

Rose Morgan, a nurse for decades, said she has seen it all.

“You feel so hopeless and so helpless, and doing everything you can and the patient dies anyway,” said Morgan.

That is the reality of nurses in 2021. Grueling 12 hour shifts and rarely a break to eat or use the bathroom. With more criticism coming from the public, Morgan said nurses are starting to feel the pressure.

“People have become much more cognizant of what to expect in hospitals and what to expect of their care providers. And so a lot of times there’s a lot of pressure there to be perfect because that’s what the public expects. They don’t expect there to be any challenges or not enough time to do all of the care that you want to provide. They really expect a certain level of perfection,” said Morgan.

Morgan said on top of keeping up with multiple patients, nurses are now taking on the role of family.

“When we had curtail visitation, it’s created probably more work for the nurse and other healthcare professionals because people are calling more frequently and multiple family members. We try to get them to have one person call or one person be the spokesperson that shares the information to the family, but depending on the dynamics that sometimes works and it sometimes doesn’t work. So the nurse is spending a lot of time to try to keep the family informed and when we do that sometimes it takes time away from the patients,” said Morgan.

She said another stressor to nurses and all healthcare professionals right now is the threat of taking the virus home. But she said nurses all over the country will continue to suit up in their gowns and masks and treat the sick because it is an honor as a nurse to be able to care for and help heal the community.

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