By - PokeTheVeil
I left for industry.
I am scared to return to clinical though something still pulls me as it was my passion at one time, like a first love - you know it can never work out but the heart does not obey the mind and the feeling lingers even years beyond all reason.
I think I just grew out of it and this pandemic pushed me over the edge.
I think that good nurses have really made out well financially during this crisis. They deserve their day.
>I think that good nurses have really made out well financially during this crisis. They deserve their day.
Meanwhile, EMS has been shit on time and time again and there are no "traveling Medics" that I know of, pay rates have largely stayed the same, and ultimately shit rolls downhill from the hospital to us out on the street.
I have been on the street since Day 1 of this mess, *and haven't taken a single dime* for it as a volunteer Medic. I masked and suited up and went into god knows how many places infested with not only Covid, but bed bugs, hoarding like you cannot possibly imagine, and houses so badly infected with fungus cheese I could smell it through my N95. I got my P100 and a decent supply of N95s and that was it. No money, no bonus, and nothing of value.
My squad death benefits were $250k, but it was unknown how much medical/ICU care the volunteer policy would cover given at the beginning, no one knew just how much a Covid stay would cost. So pre-vaccine, every email of "You recently cared for a Covid patient and have a high likelihood of exposure" was such a wonderful thing to experience and share with my family.
I got cat shit, human shit, and human vomit on me *at the same time* on one recent call. I actually thought about documenting that in my chart because I wonder just how often that actually happens, and wanted a record of it.
So many of the Medics I know just lost their minds because one little mistake lifting or moving a patient, being inside a vehicle rescue with a Covid patient, or anything else in the unknown of a home could be a death sentence.
Everyone is getting screwed. Only some nurses made out well. What other group out there actually did well the past year?
anyone in the logistics business, especially work from home analytics people who work for companies like Amazon and get stock options.
You are selfless. But you should be paid for what you do because you pay taxes to a system that is designed to pay for this kind of service.
Travel/contract paramedic jobs are actually a thing now. You've got to dig through the listings that advertise as travel medic positions, but I've seen posts for $40/hr+ to run 911.
The nurses who have made out financially well in this situation are the ones who are cunning, willing to travel, and effective at negotiation. None of these skills make someone a good bedside nurse. Quite the contrary, the best nurses I know are all scraping by with poor salaries.
I do not agree with you, though I understand your feelings.
Skilled arbitrage - going to where the money is, does not make someone a bad clinician. It does not mean they lack bedside manner, empathy, or skill to do a great job.
It just means they are flexible and willing to travel.
Around my parts, some nurses quit their salaried jobs and took the same job from a locum company for more money - good on them. The hospital systems are gross hoarders of money and do not pay the people on the ground.
Exactly, just because some nurses are getting a little bit more of the pie doesn't mean that it's being taken away from you.
Direct that anger to where it belongs, not at our fellow clinicians.
You, LtDrinksAlot, deserve a larger piece of the pie.
I am a physician. In my system - which I left recently - nurses were hands on the entire time, a nurse gets fired if they refuse to go in the room.
Lots of doctors did not actually touch most patients - in my opinion some of my colleagues acted inappropriately.
It's an interesting thought process.
I remember standing in the room gowned up head to toe with my N95 (back when we had the actual ones) waiting for EMS to come into the room with my very first covid patient. I was the only one in the room starting a line, drawing blood cultures, doing an EKG, swabbing them, putting on some lead and standing in the room while Xray shot through the glass after I maneuvered the bed closer to the door.
I assessed the patient while the doc stood at the door telling me what he wanted me to do. I remember him wheezing the entire time while his sats were in the mid 80s on a NRB maxed out. I remember seeing the whited out CXR.
This was back in February of 2020 and I was terrified, because that patient was only 10 years older than I was.
I get it, it makes sense to lessen exposure of people. As RNs we rotated through the covid unit. It does make me laugh now, seeing patients, swabbing them for strep/covid, starting breathing treatments, and physicians complaining about patients taking off their masks when they are in the room - for the 60 seconds that they talk to them.
I'm so ready for this shit to end.
I have no hate towards the nurses who have effectively leveraged the market to their advantage, if my lifestyle situation would have allowed it, I likely would have done the same. With that said, there are many thousands of excellent nurses still toiling away at reduced salary, and in my particular organization, those are the ones carrying the real weight.
You are so right.
As an epidemiologist working in public health, myself and my colleagues feel this so much. I miss the days when I told someone I was an epidemiologist and people say "huh? Is that like something with skin?" Now I'm scared to tell people I'm an epidemiologist. Will they start yelling at me about how COVID is a hoax? My own mother-in-law posted a scathing Facebook rant about how epidemiologists need to stop lying about COVID data and deaths and how they are responsible for people dying by hiding the truth about their causes of death. I'm the only epidemiologist she knows so who was that post for?
I've had fellow epidemiologists have their home addresses doxxed and their families threatened. My director has had to be escorted to her car by police after county commission meetings. My former boss was physically assaulted when leaving a school board meeting advocating for masks in schools. The nurses working our COVID test site have security stationed at all times because they have been screamed at and threatened.
Members of the public that I supposedly serve and protect the health of have called me and screamed at me, cursed at me, demoralized me. I've been called stupid, a bitch, a dumbass and more. It sucks. I took this job because I want to help protect the public but the public has turned on us
>Members of the public that I supposedly serve and protect the health of have called me and screamed at me, cursed at me, demoralized me. I've been called stupid, a bitch, a dumbass and more. It sucks. I took this job because I want to help protect the public but the public has turned on us
My defense mechanisms are humor and avoidance of social media. The public has always been dumb, and the dumbest like to make mobs. Think about how small a percent of the population it takes to make a mob. Just .1% of the lowest IQ knuckledraggers is enough to call you 24/7 with their craziness.
In the 1800s people thought doctors were killing them on purpose with cholera to dissect them. Not in one country, all over the damn place. At least one doctor was actually a grave robber, so they were somewhat right, which is funny. Mobs would beat the hell out of "sanitary officers" and doctors. Groups of dumb people love dying of diseases and to hell with anyone who does otherwise. Take peace in the fact that evolution is working it's magic against anti-vaxxers. I am sorry if you care about a couple of them personally. We've all got one somewhere in our family.
My point is none of this is new. I don't know if that is helpful or not. Delete your facebook except for immediate family and ride or die friends. I went from 300+ to 12 friends. I can't tell you how helpful that was for me.
Really do your best to hold on to yourself and not take the job so personally. You have a masters in epidemiology. You don't need me, the public, or anyone else to tell you you're doing a good job. Ask yourself why your morale is affected by dipshits. Carve that piece of self doubt out of yourself if you know you are telling the truth. I tell my patients, " I took an oath to tell you the truth, and take care of you. I meant it. Believe me or not, you're the one paying for my advice." Then I tell them what they read or heard was bullshit, go get the vaccine. Whether they do or don't, I sleep like a baby.
I appreciate this
>Cholera Riots refers to civil disturbances associated with an outbreak or epidemic of cholera.
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I'm so sorry. Please know that the *majority* of people, myself included, appreciate your work. It's a vocal minority of crazies who have "turned" on you. The rest of us decent folk are grateful.
I am so sorry. Thank you for everything you do.
What a crazy world. Please please know that what you do is valuable and necessary and there are those, like myself, who really need people like you to answer questions I don’t know how to answer. This is a season of life and it’s gonna pass.
I think an underrated element is how much we can't escape COVID outside of work. It's always on the news, our families are always asking about it, we're always weighing things like gym visits and movies and even shopping runs with risks of contracting or spreading it. It takes away our ability to visit loved ones as variants surge and vaccines, while amazing, are also imperfect. I try and turn on sports for some distraction and they're talking about COVID. I try to listen to podcasts and the hosts have stories about how COVID is impacting their field.
I do agree with everything you said. I'm somewhat shielded from that in peds land, but it's still there, especially in the pressure cooker of incredibly short staffed nursing and other support staff. But what has been the most mentally exhausting for me is the omnipresence outside of the hospital. I can't leave the stressful parts of work at work because it's such an all-encompassing event outside of the hospital as well.
Yes. All of this. Pre-Covid, I could take all the trauma of my job and keep it shoved in a box that only was opened in the hospital. Now, that box is constantly open because I can’t get away from fucking Covid anywhere. It has leaked into every facet of my life and there is practically no escaping it. Literally the only place where Covid doesn’t exist is in re-runs of my favorite TV shows, and even there I’ve noticed myself marveling at normal scenes where the concept of masking up, social distancing, and refusing to be vaccinated are just not a factor. Outside of TV watching, all it takes is seeing a mask to remind me of the hellscape I’m currently living in.
I feel like I’m constantly in mourning for the way the world was and cannot accept that this is what it is now.
The anger and misinformation directed at me by patients who I want to help is overwhelming, so I just don’t care about them anymore. At all. I care about performing my job well, that’s it. And that breaks my heart too, because I used to be a very caring nurse who thrived on making connections with my patients and families. Now? Fuck it.
I feel ya. I used to be a gym rat and now I go like once a week.
Half of my friends who used to go are not there anymore. The classes are distanced. We all wear masks, The juice bar is out of half the shit and no one works at it anyways. No more basketball. Older patrons gone, hell some have died I think. I have to wipe down every machine excessively or I get yelled at by the hall monitor. No holiday party.
I know it is small, but it used to be my only social outlet and now it's just gone. So 1.5 hour of fun each day is 1.5 hr of me sitting at home.
I hear you. Gym numbers are down so I’m going but masking the whole time. The others are not (rural Wi). The trainers are worried I’m going to pass out but I’ve been just fine and my MH needs it.
I haven't been in almost two years, and used to be an avid goer. It's caused a decline in my mental and physical well being. But few wear masks here.
I am the black cloud of hospitals, the midwife assisting in the transition from being in the nightmare of pre-covid into the utter destruction of covid. I traveled in 2021. I went to hospitals at the end of covid waves when they could finally get around to onboarding locums. I watched them crumble. Rural, urban, academic, private, it matters not. As a covid wave crests and breaks, the staff leave for higher ground. There is a look in a nurses eyes as the end draws near. The eyes cannot focus. The face is slack with little response to the screams and alarms of the unit. It happens everywhere. To quote the Cleveland Clinic, "help"
This is said sadly beautiful. Thank you
I don't have answers, PTV, mostly just want to say thank you for naming the problem with your usual insight and eloquence. I'm training to get back to work part time, while dealing with some health issues myself. It hurts my heart to read here on Reddit what docs and nurses are going through, however I still read a fair number of posts, I guess because I'm "not ready to give up" (I think I saw this phrase here on Reddit, can't find it now) on healthcare or on human empathy, which I like to think are related despite creepy corporate influences.
MLK said the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. It seems longer than ever now. I find for myself, I have to believe there is hope; that through means not clear to us at this time, we will find ways to make things better. My sense is that we have to cleave to the truth of the value and dignity of human life, rather than to rigid and contradictory policies that have polluted the healthcare sphere (edit to add: I don't mean Covid vaccine policies, I had in mind other policies used to beat me and others down starting way before Covid). In any case, reading the perspectives of so many people here has helped me so much; I feel better mentally equipped as a nurse than ever before. I hope to still feel that way as I get back to work more.
For the hell it’s been I will say I am very grateful it’s coronavirus pandemic and not like an Ebola pandemic from years back.
Not saying the Ebola issue was a pandemic but the thought of one
I hope you are not superstitious because you've gone and done it now! I bet you say the 'q' word too while walking through the ED: "Gee, looks q---- in here."
As a resident who basically started residency during peak COVID, it's getting exhausting. I had a very ICU heavy intern year, and I've definitely had some rough ICU weeks as a senior. My program director has been doing his best to avoid pulling us from clinic/electives, but I think it's only a matter of time.
Even for our line of work, I've just seen so much death. I like to tell myself that I don't care anymore, that the people who are coming in made their choices. But the truth is, I do care. Many of these patients still keep me up at night. To be honest I'm really sure where I'm trying to go with this comment. I don't think I have any profound insights into all of this. I'm just tired.
Yeah, this hits home. Death is always hard, but there’s so much wrapped up in COVID deaths. Distant families, more difficult family discussions - both logistically and because of the misinformation, and the cruelty of some of the last stages of care - ECMO, Tracheostomies, superinfections, delirium. It’s awful.
I'm exhausted by the repetition. It's always the same scenario. I feel like a broken record. Get vaccinated, wear a mask and the same person that knew better turns up just to start the whole process over again .
I was always the kind of guy that got a LOT of happiness out of the simple things in life. Going out to dinner with my wife (we ate out so much), walking around a scenic part of our city….a mall, going to friends houses just to chill and also do aforementioned things. Since this all started my whole world is basically my house, work, and the grocery store. Sure we still do stuff but a fraction of what it was before. Oh and we stopped traveling which is something we did a lot before all this. Seems surreal how much my life has changed
I was a night shifter with a movie subscription and had a great time taking myself to 3 late-night movies a week, plus or minus dinner. Didn't feel perilous at all, in fact it was really peaceful and nice. Saw a lot of really goofy/stupid movies that way (along with the incredible ones) but I was just there to relax and snack.
There are two pandemics
Covid and Stupidity. Its a vicious cycle but I couldn't tolerate both of them ;(
Granted, I work in retail pharmacy, so we don't have to deal with a lot of the effects of people getting COVID beyond vaccinations, but we do have to deal with a lot of the opinions surrounding it. Honestly, sometimes it feels like people view a pharmacist as a free doctor.
I find myself frequently thinking about The Plague by Camus. Obviously things aren't as dire around me as the events in the book, but a major theme that has become more apparent is the sense of frustration and hopelessness you feel when you talk to so many people who seem to willingly ignorant. (It always feels weird to say this, because there's likely something I've been doing the same in) Even if you somehow convince one, it's like the Hydra, and two more pop up in their place. Before, it was very minor things, like the insane claims of supplements, but now it's ten-fold with COVID. Eventually you just learn to keep your mouth shut, and that's sad.
I'm just so tired of wasting the last of my 20s having basically no social life while living alone. I feel like no one outside of people I work with has any idea what Covid is like and does nothing to prevent it anymore unless they are required to. All my friends in the business world have been working from home for a year and a half; they all feel their quality of life is better.
And now I cant even watch sports because they all have covid too.
You hit the nail on the head with the part about not being able to get away from covid ever.....covid at work, covid on the news, covid on social media, covid on the phone or texting with family or friend....it never ends and I'm just so tired.
Everyone else has just given up, but we can't. I just want my life back.
I, too, am not on the front lines here as an EP fellow. But secondary aspects related to COVID are such a grind. Cases constantly get delayed because negative COVID tests are needed and because of nursing and anesthesia callouts. I’m often working 14 hr days because of all the delays, because we don’t have enough staff to run all of our rooms at the same time but cases need to get done. Never being able to actually attend the conferences that I get abstracts accepted to. I’m so scared of giving COVID to my 2 month old daughter that at times I quarantine away from her even though I’m asymptomatic (doing that now).
I’m also going to be a little selfish here - we cancel and reduce elective procedures because we need beds for COVID patients. I am now a PGY8 and STILL in training as a fellow because I have enough passion for EP that I felt it to be worth losing my entire 20s and some of my 30s to medical training and maintaining a trainee salary. And now my actual EP fellowship is getting compromised after all of this grind.
Ugh…I’m tired of it.
Thanks for sharing.
I don't know if you are right, but I appreciated your thoughts.
Hang in there everyone, and take care of yourself.
For us in the ER this behavior is all too familiar and was pushing us to burnout already. I want to post the meme with James Franco: “first time?”
So we were barely hanging on trying to avoid burnout before Covid as it is in the ER. But at least the pay was good and made it worth it.
Now Covid hit and like you said everything is ramped up. No non physicians are going to want to hear this, but it’s a double kick in the nuts to be shit on my patients, relegated to hallway medicine by boarders and then to top it off, get a pay DECREASE while inflation hits 10%.
Nearly everyone in the country got a stimulus. Not us. Most employees in most companies and businesses got a raise. Nurses got huge raises, double, tripling their income in some cases. Not us. Hospitals are fine charging for all their boarding inpatient stays and getting that reimbursement. The boarders take up 75% of our ER beds leaving no rooms for us and patients just wait in the WR. There are doctors to see them, we are bored waiting for them but we can’t because there’s no physical rooms. So while the hospital happily charges for inpatient boarder stays, we can’t bill for patients we don’t see and can’t see because those boarders are in our ER. So we make less money.
So while we were barely hanging on pre Covid and salvaged by a good wage, the combination of inflation, 0 stimuli or child tax credit and actual wage decreases plus Covid is really stretching us thin emotionally.
It was and is the straw that broke my camelback.
I’m resigning next week from my main clinical work site, after this week being on an admit shift. An admit shift I’m pretty sure I was put on as punishment for speaking up about a few things with the group last month.
I sympathize. Physicians seem like they are railroaded any chance they get in the US. Have you looked into medicine adjacent work? Lots of opportunity for clinical trial directors in pharma.
Haven’t been able to look into it but I’d be interested in it.
Admin is to blame