“Right now, nurses don’t feel like heroes. We feel expendable.”
For weeks, Kelly Stanton wasn’t sleeping. She lay in bed gripped with the anxiety of having to go to work at a Washington, D.C.-area hospital not knowing whether she might bring home the coronavirus to her husband and their three children.
It was inevitable, she thought. She wasn’t protected.
Stanton, a nurse for 28 years, had seen federal safety protocols for health care workers begin to crumble amid the pandemic by early March.
Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding personal protective equipment, or PPE, changed consistently. At Stanton’s hospital, nurses were told that they would have limited access to an already low stockpile of protective equipment and were being asked to reuse single-use masks multiple times, she said.
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