I work in a San Francisco specialized COVID-19 ICU unit. The patients I am treating for COVID-19 are mostly middle-aged and are all intubated and sedated. We can have up to 7 in the unit at one time.
Yes, I think that it is a vital requirement that all frontline staff should be tested. I am a member of the union, but I don’t know their stance on testing right now, to be honest I haven’t had time to inquire. I would like to be tested regularly though.
I would have to answer no. Currently I am given one N95 for the entire day. Prior to this pandemic and before shortages, it was a strict requirement to change masks after each interaction with each patient. There were consequences for not changing PPE after each patient. Now I am being told its one N95 a day, regardless how many patients you are seeing.
As of right now, that has not occurred. On the east coast with their lack of PPE and soaring figures it’s a different situation. However, we have not seen those extortionate case numbers yet here in San Francisco. It shows how important social distancing is in the early stages. The less strain put on hospital supplies and staff, the easier we (staff) can all keep safe and focus on treating patients. I am grateful for San Francisco’s early action.
Yes, extremely nervous. Thankfully, this has not been a problem in California from what I know of. However, the numbers nationally and globally are deeply concerning. I pray we don’t come to that here in California.
No, I take all necessary precautions to avoid anyone being at risk from me, but it’s a worry with my children.
From what I have seen on CNN and social media I think they are doing a tremendous job. Overall, people have been very supportive of medical staff.
We were very busy in San Francisco with H1N1 yet there was an extremely different morale in the hospital compared to today. People were extremely ill, but it was not as contagious as COVID-19 and we felt more in control. We used antiviral agents, such as Tamiflu. We knew it was more seasonal and we saw the end. With COVID-19 there comes extreme uncertainty.
Treatment was very different. We were able to treat people’s organ failures. As long as they were on an ECMO machine we more or less knew if they would survive or not. As I said, we had more control and were much more organized. ECMO machines (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) saved a great deal of lives.
Yes, I would say that we are all very concerned. With COVID there is so much we don’t know. As I said, with H1N1 we saw the end and had the ability to treat patients. Whereas with COVID, who knows? And that is frightening for those of us who are on the frontlines. I know a lot of people who are very, very anxious.