Apr 30, 2020
Heroes on the front line: Trish Powers
Around the world, health care providers are on the front line of the battle against the coronavirus.
Many are struggling not only to treat a disease with no known treatment, one to which no human has natural immunity. They are also facing an unprecedented global shortage of the masks, gowns and gloves known as personal protective equipment, due to international manufacturing shortfalls in the face of the pandemic. That equipment is essential to preventing health care workers from getting infected themselves and from passing the virus to patients and to their own family members.
Doctors and nurses and physician assistants and other health care workers sign up to work long hours, nights and weeks, away from their families. But never in our lifetime have they been asked to put their own health and their loved ones’ health at such risk.
At Coverage, we are giving Massachusetts doctors, nurses, PAs and NPs a chance to speak to you, our readers, in their own words. We asked that they share their simplest, most urgent messages as they fight this new virus with no vaccine and no cure, a virus vulnerable only to our common human bravery, ingenuity and compassion.
There are so many patients on ventilators fighting to stay alive. Normally nurses just have one horribly sick patient at a time, but not anymore. For us, the stress level is through the roof. I would see my mother almost every day, but I haven’t seen her now in six weeks. I have two stepchildren and nieces and nephews ranging from 6 to 32, and I miss seeing them during this crisis. We are in our surge and hoping it peaks soon.
- Trish Powers,
Operating room RN at Brigham and Women’s Hospital,
Now assigned to treat patients in the COVID-19 ICU