Health Care Workers on the Frontline Face a Year of Risk, Fear and Loss

Gabrielle Don Luna sees her father treating every patient.

As an emergency room nurse at the same hospital where her father lay down after Kovid’s death in March last year, Ms. Luna knows firsthand what it is like for a family to hang onto every new piece of information. He is deeply aware of the need to take extra time to explain the developments to a patient’s relatives who are often desperate for updates.

And Ms. Luna has agreed to share her personal loss to help, as it did recently with a patient whose husband died. But he has also stopped honoring Specific affliction of each person, As he did when a colleague’s father also succumbed to the disease.

It is challenging, she said, to allow enough grieving to help patients without feeling overwhelmed.

“Sometimes I think it’s a very big responsibility,” she said. “But this is the work I signed up for, isn’t it?”

The Lunas are a nursing family. Her father, Tom Omana Luna, Was also an emergency nurse and was proud when Ms. Luna joined her on the field. When she died on 9 April, Ms. Luna, who also had mild symptoms of Kovid-19, took about a week of work. Her mother, a nurse at a long-term care facility, spent about six weeks at home.

Ms. Luna said, “She didn’t want me to act out of fear that something would happen to me as well.” “But I had to go back. They needed me. “

When His hospital In Teaneck, scorched by patients with NJ virus, she struggled with stress, irritation, and a frightening fear that made her grief an open wound: “Did I give it to her?” I don’t want to think about that, but it’s a possibility. “

Like Lunas, many people who have been treating millions of coronovirus patients in the United States over the past year come from families defined by the drug. It is a passing call through generations, which binds the spouse and connects the siblings who are separated.

It is a bond that brings the success of a shared experience, but for many people, the epidemic has also introduced a host of fears and tensions. Many are concerned about the risks they are taking and their loved ones face every day, too. They worry about the unseen scars left behind.

And for people like Ms. Luna, the care they give to coronovirus patients has grown to the shape of a beloved healer who loses the virus.

Dr. For Nadia Zubi, the loss is so new that she still refers to her father, a fellow emergency department physician, in the present tense.

Her father, Drs. Skeptical Zhuabi, Spent his last days in his hospital, UCI Health in Orange County, California, on January 8 before Kovid died. 8. Little Dr. Zhuabi returned to work almost immediately, hoping to pass through the comradeship of Purpose and his colleagues.

She expected that working with the people caring for her father would deepen her commitment to her own patients and to some extent. But mainly, she realized how important it is to balance that emotional availability with her own well-being.

Dr. “I always try to be as sympathetic and kind as I can,” said Zhuabi. “Part of you is probably to build a wall as a living mechanism because to realize that all the time, I don’t think it’s sustainable.”

Work is filled with memories. When she looked at a patient’s fingers, she remembered how her colleagues had also inspired her father to check her insulin levels.

“He had all these injuries on his fingers,” she said. “It broke my heart.”

The two were always close, but they got a special relationship when they enrolled in medical school. Physicians often descend from physicians. about 20 percent in Sweden Are parents with medical degrees, and researchers believe the rate is same In the United States.

Elder Dr. Zubi had a gift for conversation and preferred to talk about medicine with his daughter as he sat in his living room chair and his legs were upstairs. She is still in her residency training, and over the past year she had visited him for advice on the challenging cases of Kovid on which she was working and to overcome her doubts. “You need to trust yourself,” he would tell her.

When he caught the virus, he took time to be in his bed every day and continued his conversation. Even when she was intubated, she pretended that they were still talking.

She still does. After hard innings, she transforms into her memories, the part of her that lives with her. “She really thought I was going to be a great doctor,” she said. “If my father thought me so, it must be true. I can do this, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. “

The way medicine is often an obsession that has been fueled by a set of values ​​passed from one generation to another, is also shared by siblings and one who heals together in marriage.

According to an estimate provided by Maria Polakova, a professor of health policy at Stanford University, about 14 percent of physicians in the United States have siblings who also have medical degrees. According to a study published in, one fourth of them are married to another doctor Anal of internal medicine.

In interviews with a dozen doctors and nurses, he described how helping a long-time loved one who knows the rigors of the job. But the epidemic has also revealed how frightening it can be for a loved one in the path of harm.

The brother of a nurse walked up to him when he had the virus voluntarily in another virus hot spot. A doctor had a talk with her children about what would happen if both she and her husband died of the virus. And others described her crying silently during a conversation about willpower after putting her children to bed.

Jackson, Miss. A physician from two emergency departments, Drs. Fred E. Kensi Jr. understood that when he served in the Navy, he was surrounded by danger. He never expected that he would face such danger in civilian life, or that his wife, who is an apprentice and pediatrician, would also face the same dangers.

“It is scary to know that my wife, each and every day, has to walk into the rooms of patients who have Kovid,” Dr. Kinsey said, before he and his wife were vaccinated. “But it is rewarding to know that not only one of us, both of us are doing everything possible to save lives in this epidemic.”

The vaccine has reduced the risk of becoming infected at work for medical workers who have been vaccinated, but has expressed some concerns about the toll it takes to work during a year of horrors that take their close relatives went.

Dr., an emergency medicine physician at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. Adesuwa came. “I worry about the amount of grief and death,” said Achitumen, said her sister, who is a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Maine. I feel that I have learned to work in the emergency department before the start of Kovid.

He and his sister, Drs. Essa T. Igodaro has regularly spoken on the phone to compare notes about the precautions he takes, provide updates to his family and support each other. “He fully understands what I’m doing and gives me encouragement,” Dr. Igodaro said.

The endless intensity of work, rising deaths, and the Cavalier’s attitude reflect some Americans towards safety precautions. Anxiety, fatigue and irritation For a growing number of health care workers. About 25 percent of them likely have PTSD Survey That the Yale School of Medicine published in February. And Many people have left the ground Or considering doing so.

Donna Quinn, a midwife at NYU Health in Manhattan, is concerned that her son’s experience as an emergency room physician in Chicago prompted her to leave the area she had only recently joined. He was in the final year of his residency when the epidemic began, and he volunteered to serve on the team voluntarily.

He said, “I am concerned that it is emotionally inflicted on him.” “There have been nights where we are talking in tears about what we have faced.”

She still has nightmares that are sometimes so terrible that she falls off the bed. Some are about her son or patients whom she cannot help. In one, a patient’s bed linen transforms into a giant monster that drives him out of the room.

When Ms. Luna first returned to her emergency room at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ after her father’s demise, she felt as if something was missing. He’s got him used to being there. It was as nerve-racking as every necessary intercom call for resuscitation, he wondered, “Is this my dad?” But she could have stopped, at least now and again, to see how he is doing.

More than that though, she never knew what it was to be a nurse without him. She remembered that when she was in elementary school, she was studying to enter the field, coloring almost every line in her large textbooks with a yellow highlighter.

At breakfast last March, Ms. Luna told her father how shaken he was after having an iPad for a dying patient to say goodbye to a family who could not attend the hospital.

“This is our profession,” she said, remembering Mr. Luna. “We are here to act as family when there cannot be a family. It is a difficult role. This is going to be tough, and there will be times where you have to do it. “

Kitty bennett Contributed to research.

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