Proof continues to emerge that nurses, who are usually the first line of help in any hospital setting, are bearing the worst brunt of the Covid epidemic amongst healthcare workers.
More than 33% of all healthcare workers that have been hospitalized with Covid-19 between March and May turned out to be in nursing-related positions, a new report from Becker’s Hospital Review notes, citing CDC analysis.
In general, healthcare workers have accounted for about 6% of total adults that have been hospitalized due to Covid. 36.3% of these hospitalizations have been nurses or Certified Nurses Assistants.
The CDC analysis looked at 6,760 hospitalizations across 13 states, including New York, Ohio and California. It also revealed that 90% of healthcare workers hospitalized due to Covid-19 had underlying conditions, such as obesity.
28% of those hospitalized were admitted to the ICE and 15.8% required invasive ventilation. 4.2% of those admitted died during hospitalization. The analysis didn’t differentiate whether or not the healthcare workers caught Covid-19 as part of their job duties, or within their respective communities.
The CDC stated: “Healthcare workers can have severe COVID-19-associated illness, highlighting the need for continued infection prevention and control in healthcare settings as well as community mitigation efforts to reduce transmission.”
And while the study doesn’t take into account pay associated with being a nurse, we’re willing to bet that they are hardly being compensated appropriately for the risks they have been taking across the nation.
Recall, months ago, this was an issue we pointed out with EMTs. We noted that many were leaving their jobs in “alarming numbers” because the Covid pandemic had made it overwhelming and not worth the menial salary they were making.
Robert Baer, an EMT in New York City who was formerly one of the first responders on September 11, told CBS several months ago: “I knew it would probably kill me if I went out there and had multiple exposures — and I’m not a chicken. I love the job, but my doctors were telling me I shouldn’t be going in the field, that it was very dangerous.”
He was supposed to be deployed to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens back in March, but decided his risks were too high and, instead, quit his job. As a result of the September 11 response, he suffers with asthma, chronic bronchitis and sleep apnea that put him at a higher risk for Covid.
Oren Barzilay, president of the FDNY-EMS Local 2507, representing New York City medics noted that about 60 EMTs had left the department over the last 4 months. Many of those retiring are over the age of 50.
Barzilay said: “Some people like to complete 30 years on the job so they can maximize their pension, but I noticed a trend in recent weeks that they aren’t really concerned about that anymore. As soon as they reach their eligibility, which is 25 years, they are leaving.”
“They see the risks associated with the job and the low pay, and it’s just not worth it,” Barzilay continued. EMTs start at just $30,000 per year in New York and pay tops out at about $50,000. Nationally, the job pays just $38,830 per year on average.
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