On what it has been like working the frontlines during COVID-19:
Working in the emergency department, we expect anything to come through the door. But we had a huge influx of patients at the beginning of the pandemic, ranging from patients with basic cold symptoms all the way to patients that required breathing tubes and needed transferring to the ICU, many of them eventually diagnosed with COVID.
Other problems were the worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Demand exceeded capacity. We were seeing so many patients, each requiring PPE changes in between, so there was excessive use. The hospital put in a significant effort trying to get the PPE needed, but this was something that no one was prepared for.
What really took a personal toll on me was what was happening around us, things like the lockdown. That by itself has a psychological impact on anybody, not just people who work in hospitals.
Also, the drastic increase in numbers. At first, we only saw a couple of COVID patients, but eventually it just became all COVID and nothing else. I’m used to seeing patients with all types of conditions, not the same symptoms day after day. Seeing what happens to these patients affects you from an emotional standpoint. When they come in at first, they look fine. But when you follow up on them again a few days later they’re in the ICU, on a breathing tube and on the verge of death.”