Day: May 18, 2020

‘I Can’t Turn My Brain Off’: PTSD and Burnout Threaten Medical Workers

The coronavirus patient, a 75-year-old man, was dying. No family member was allowed in the room with him, only a young nurse.

In full protective gear, she dimmed the lights and put on quiet music. She freshened his pillows, dabbed his lips with moistened swabs, held his hand, spoke softly to him. He wasn’t even her patient, but everyone else was slammed.

Finally, she held an iPad close to him, so he could see the face and hear the voice of a grief-stricken relative Skyping from the hospital corridor.

After the man died, the nurse found a secluded hallway, and wept.

A few days later, she shared her anguish in a private Facebook message to Dr. Heather Farley, who directs a comprehensive staff-support program at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. “I’m not the kind of nurse that can act like I’m fine and that something sad didn’t just happen,”

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Remote and Ready to Fight Coronavirus’s Next Wave

In mid-March, Dr. Jim Bristow’s wife came down with gastrointestinal issues. Then, she couldn’t stop coughing.

Her symptoms pointed to coronavirus, but she couldn’t get tested — in part because of the nationwide test shortage, but also because the pair lived in Vashon, an idyllic town on an island in Washington State’s Puget Sound with scant medical resources. When Dr. Anthony S. Fauci of President Trump’s coronavirus task force said that the United States was failing with regards to testing, Dr. Bristow, said that it “really struck me.”

Dr. Bristow felt inspired to collaborate with other members in the Vashon community to develop a model to test, trace and isolate — in essence, a coronavirus response plan that they call the Rural Test & Trace Toolkit. Dr. Bristow, a retired cardiologist who was trained at the start of the AIDS epidemic, now believes that their model can be replicated,

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