The morale of professionals Elda University General Hospital suffers in this second wave of the pandemic. Most give symptoms of exhaustion and emotional stress ante la avalanche of patients that they have been attending for the last three weeks. The nursing staff, assistants, orderlies and doctors admit to feeling physical and mental fatigue in the face of a situation that, as happened between the months of March and May, when the highest peak of infections in the first wave was registered, begins to overwhelm them.
The current situation does not, of course, invite us to think about a quick return to normality. Yesterday the Hospital of Elda had admitted 151 positive patients -one of them a child isolated in Pediatrics- and 18 patients suspected of carrying the virus. In the Critical Resuscitation Unit there were 16 seriously ill patients and in the ICU another 8 more, together with a suspected case. The third and fourth floors are full of income covid as well as the left wing of the second and the new Traumatology area. In order to have more beds, the Multipurpose Revenue Units have been enabled. The usual one and those in the basement and the teaching department that currently host 13 positives. The Rehabilitation gym has been closed to have more space and, although the surgical activity is only maintained in serious situations and emergencies, the outpatient consultations are still active and the Surgery and Traumatology rooms in the new area have doubled. A suffocating work environment in the Health Department that registers the highest accumulated incidence of cases in the entire Valencian Community.
«We feel abandoned because there is a lack of personnel to attend to all the work that we have to carry out now. Management is not bending the template but patching it. We know that there are no professionals left in our job market, but those in Alcoy and Alicante could be used. But, yes, offering six-month contracts and not ten-day substitutions so that they decide to come to work at our hospital, “commented yesterday a nurse who prefers not to identify herself. Another colleague also complained about the lack of psychological assistance. «Our work is often very hard but we are people and when a patient dies we also suffer. So we need the emotional support that was given to us in the first wave and now we don’t know why it has been suppressed.
Health personnel are also infected despite preventive measures that he adopts at work and, like other people, experiences concern and fear at being able to transmit the virus to his children, parents, grandparents or spouses. In the Traumatology Unit, a total of 11 infections have been registered among professionals in recent days. It is an example but there is more. “We also run the risk of infecting our family and friends but we assume it because it is part of our work,” says a technician in auxiliary nursing care regretting, however, that more and more colleagues begin to develop the typical symptoms of burnout syndrome, also called burnout worker syndrome, due to a stress that has been maintained since the pandemic broke out. Another situation that contributes to generating a climate of “discouragement and sadness” in the workforce is not being able to fulfill all the functions entrusted to provide quality assistance.
«Not all the casualties of colleagues have been covered in recent weeks because the nursing job pool is exhausted and meanwhile the number of covid admissions keeps increasing day after day. At the hospital we are going to piecework and we are saturated so we need the workforce to be reinforced as soon as possible, “says a nurse who also asks to end the uncertainty that exists about the formula chosen to compensate for the overtime they are doing, and also to dispel doubts about suspension of leave and vacations.
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