Healthcare workers are perhaps the most heavily impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, but not always in the ways you might think. While it’s true that many healthcare workers are being stretched thin with heavy COVID-19 patient loads, others – where patient loads have not been as extreme – are feeling the effects of patient and procedure reprioritization and coping with anxiety about infrastructure.
Jackie Garcia, from the San Francisco bay area, for example, is a surgical technician who has had her hours drastically reduced as a consequence of the elimination of elective surgeries. “The way it’s going now, I honestly don’t see how I’ll be able to pay my mortgage,” she says.
Carla Cambra, a respiratory therapist at the same hospital, worries about the lack of a defined COVID-19 management strategy. “We need clear guidelines,” she says. “Do we have the equipment we need to do our job? We have masks, but they’re limited. They haven’t been fit-tested, so I don’t know how effective they are. Should people be tested before they work with patients? Should we have a special team?”
Read more about Jackie and Carla and how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting their work environments here.