Why is it that nurses are yet again not prioritized in the pandemic?
It has been found that healthcare workers have the highest rate of work-related COVID-19 transmission. At the beginning of the pandemic, nurses had to face all types of mistrust and lack of support from the institutions they worked in, from local and state government. Nurses had to constantly place themselves at risk to care for sick patients, exposing themselves to the dangers of COVID-19. Much of this risk also had to do with nurses working with inadequate PPE.
The American Nurses Association surved 32,174 nurses at the beginning of the pandemic and found that more than half of the nurses working with a shortage of masks, respiratory, precautions gowns, face shields, goggles, and hand sanitizer. In some places nurses hand-made their own masks and some wore trash bags when there were no gowns. Another alarming fact is that 62% of nurses surveyed reported a facility policy mandating that they had to reuse their N-95 masks with 43% reporting reuse for 5 days or more.
With reusing PPE there's a 41% increase in contracting COVID-19
With inadequate PPE there's a 31% increase in contracting COVID-19
Nguyen, L. H., Drew, D. A., Joshi, A. D., Guo, C.-G., Ma, W., Mehta, R. S., Sikavi, D. R., Lo, C.-H., Kwon, S., Song, M., Mucci, L. A., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C., Eliassen, A. H., Hart, J. E., Chavarro, J. E., Rich-Edwards, J. W., Davies, R., Capdevila, J., … Chan, A. T. (2020). Risk of COVID-19 among frontline healthcare workers and the general community: a prospective cohort study. medRxiv : The Preprint Server for Health Sciences.
This video shows once again the constant issues that nurses face on the frontlines.
Vaccine priority is to those on the frontlines because when you need someone on the frontline, you want them to be there.