Nurses

Worn-Out Nurses Hit the Road for Better Pay, Stressing Hospital Budgets — and Morale

In parts of the country where covid-19 continues to fill hospitals, a rotating cast of traveling nurses helps keep intensive care units fully staffed. Hospitals have to pay handsomely to get that temporary help, and those higher wages are tempting some staff nurses to hit the road, too. Nearly two years into the pandemic, there’s …

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Journalists Examine Vaccination Rates Among Student Nurses and in Covid Hot Spots

Contributing writer and former KHN correspondent Michelle Andrews discussed difficulties in providing clinical training to student nurses who refuse to get vaccinated on CBS News on Thursday. Click here to watch Andrews on CBS News Read Andrews’ “Student Nurses Who Refuse Vaccination Struggle to Complete Degrees“ KHN Colorado correspondent Rae Ellen Bichell discussed San Juan …

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California Vaccine Mandate Extends to Aides for People With Disabilities

Workers in adult and senior care facilities and in-home aides have been added to the list of California health workers who must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Those who work directly with people with disabilities — such as employees paid through the state’s regional center network, aides contracted by agencies, and in-home support service …

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Mandatory Vaccines for Health Care Workers Might Upend Nurses’ Training

Kaitlyn Hevner expects to complete a 15-month accelerated nursing program at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville in December. For her clinical training this fall, she’s working 12-hour shifts on weekends with medical-surgical patients at a hospital. But Hevner and nursing students like her who refuse to get vaccinated against covid-19 are in an …

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At an Overrun ICU, ‘the Problem Is We Are Running Out of Hallways’

BILLINGS, Mont. — Nurses fill the hospital room to turn a patient from his stomach to his back. The ventilator forcing air into him is most effective when he’s on his stomach, so he is in that position most hours of the day, sedated and paralyzed by drugs. Lying on his stomach all those hours …

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Health Care Unions Defending Newsom From Recall Will Want Single-Payer Payback

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Should Gavin Newsom survive the Republican-driven attempt to oust him from office, the Democratic governor will face the prospect of paying back supporters who coalesced behind him. And the leaders of California’s single-payer movement will want their due. Publicly, union leaders say they’re standing beside Newsom because he has displayed political courage …

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Lack of a Vaccine Mandate Becomes Competitive Advantage in Hospital Staffing Wars

In the rural northeastern corner of Missouri, Scotland County Hospital has been so low on staff that it sometimes had to turn away patients amid a surge in covid-19 cases. The national covid staffing crunch means CEO Dr. Randy Tobler has hired more travel nurses to fill the gaps. And the prices are steep — …

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Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic to deploy NeuroFlow’s mental health tools across 3 hospitals

Through a program funded by Independence Blue Cross Foundation, 1,800 frontline healthcare workers across the three Pennsylvania-based hospitals will gain access to NeuroFlow’s technology, which will measure and track their mental health symptoms and provide support via educational resources and a clinical care team.

After Pandemic Ravaged Nursing Homes, New State Laws Protect Residents

When the coronavirus hit Martha Leland’s Connecticut nursing home last year, she and dozens of other residents contracted the disease while the facility was on lockdown. Twenty-eight residents died, including her roommate. “The impact of not having friends and family come in and see us for a year was totally devastating,” she said. “And then, …

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Labor Department Issues Emergency Rules to Protect Health Care Workers From Covid

Labor Department officials on Thursday announced a temporary emergency standard to protect health care workers, saying they face “grave danger” in the workplace from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The new standard would require employers to remove workers who have covid-19 from the workplace, notify workers of covid exposure at work and strengthen requirements for employers …

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Readers and Tweeters React to Racism, Inequities in Health Care

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. A Harrowing Tale of Racism I liked the article “The Making of Reluctant Activists: A Police Shooting in a Hospital Forces One Family to Rethink American Justice” (May 10). As a …

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Public Health Nurses Once Again Asking, “What Are They Thinking?”

Whitney Thurman Karen Johnson By KAREN JOHNSON and WHITNEY THURMAN One recent Friday night, we huddled with our colleagues in the pouring rain at a movie theater parking lot– our cars packed with supplies for our mobile vaccine clinic— trying to find someone who wanted an extra dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine before it expired. …

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Steward Health v Aya Healthcare: 4 things to know

The Texas-based health system first sued the staffing firm for “price gouging” amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as wages for nurses shot up from $75 to $160. But the firm countersued, claiming that Steward — which owes Aya over $40 million — previously did not raise objections to its prices.

A Year Into Pandemic, Federal Officials Design New Mask Guidelines to Better Protect More Workers

Federal officials announced new measures to help get fresh, new N95 masks to health care workers and expand their use in other industries after scientists argued that the highly protective masks are essential to keep workers safe from covid-19. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. The changes come as U.S. mask-makers say …

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Fauci Thanks US Health Workers for Sacrifices but Admits PPE Shortages Drove Up Death Toll

Dr. Anthony Fauci thanked America’s health care workers, who “every single day put themselves at risk” during the pandemic, even as he acknowledged that PPE shortages had contributed to the deaths of more than 3,600 of them. This story also ran on The Guardian. It can be republished for free. “We rightfully refer to these …

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Calls Mount for Biden to Track US Health Care Worker Deaths from Covid

This story also ran on The Guardian. It can be republished for free. Calls are mounting for the Biden administration to set up a national tracking system of covid-19 deaths among front-line health care workers to honor the thousands of nurses, doctors and support staffers who have died and ensure that future generations are not …

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Para este enfermero de cuidados paliativos, la vacuna de covid llegó demasiado tarde

Antonio Espinoza amaba a los Dodgers de Los Angeles. Los quería tanto que para su velatorio lo vistieron con su camiseta del equipo. Su familia y amigos, incluido su hijo de 3 años, también usaron remeras, y gorras de béisbol azul y blancas, en su honor. Espinoza murió de covid a los 36 años, apenas …

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For This Hospice Nurse, the Covid Shot Came Too Late

CORONA, Calif. — Antonio Espinoza loved the Los Angeles Dodgers. He loved them so much that he was laid to rest in his favorite Dodgers jersey. His family and friends, including his 3-year-old son, donned a sea of blue-and-white baseball shirts and caps in his honor. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. …

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Calling All Vaccinators: Closing the Next Gap in Covid Supply and Demand

This story also ran on NBC News. It can be republished for free. Beating back covid right now comes down to balancing supply and demand. With hopes pinned to vaccines, demand has far outstripped the supply of doses. But, as an increasing number of vaccine vials are shipped in coming weeks, the concern about shortages …

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‘I Wanted to Go in There and Help’: Nursing Schools See Enrollment Bump Amid Pandemic

This story also ran on USA Today. It can be republished for free. Last December, Mirande Gross graduated from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, with a bachelor’s degree in communications. But Gross has changed her mind and is heading back to school in May for a one-year accelerated nursing degree program. The pandemic that has …

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Readers and Tweeters Fight Stigma and Salute Front-Line Workers

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. In case you need your blood to boil, read this story about a woman’s surprise medical bill for lab tests she never requested and was never informed would happen. #health #healthcare …

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California’s Top Hospital Lobbyist Cements Influence in Covid Crisis

SACRAMENTO — As intensive care units filled and coronavirus cases surged over the holidays, Carmela Coyle invoked a World War II-era quote attributed to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to rally her own troops: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Coyle is head of the California Hospital Association, and her “troops” are the highly …

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California Is Overriding Its Limits on Nurse Workloads as Covid Surges

This story is from a reporting partnership that includes KQED, NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free. California’s telemetry nurses, who specialize in the electronic monitoring of critically ill patients, normally take care of four patients at once. But ever since the state relaxed California’s mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios in mid-December, Nerissa Black has …

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Health Workers Unions See Surge in Interest Amid Covid

This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. The nurses at Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, declared on March 6 — by filing the official paperwork — that they were ready to vote on the prospect of joining a national union. At the time, they were motivated by the desire …

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Video: The Healthy Nurse Who Died at 40 on the COVID Frontline: ‘She Was the Best Mom I Ever Had’

Yolanda Coar was 40 when she died of COVID-19 in August 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. She was also a nurse manager, and one of nearly 3,000 frontline workers who have died in the U.S. fighting this virus, according to an exclusive investigation by The Guardian and KHN. Read more of the health workers’ stories behind …

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More Than 2,900 Health Care Workers Died This Year — And the Government Barely Kept Track

This story also ran on The Guardian. It can be republished for free. More than 2,900 U.S. health care workers have died in the COVID-19 pandemic since March, a far higher number than that reported by the government, according to a new analysis by KHN and The Guardian. Fatalities from the coronavirus have skewed young, …

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As the Terror of COVID Struck, Health Care Workers Struggled to Survive. Thousands Lost the Fight.

This story also ran on The Guardian. It can be republished for free. Workers at Garfield Medical Center in suburban Los Angeles were on edge as the pandemic ramped up in March and April. Staffers in a 30-patient unit were rationing a single tub of sanitizing wipes all day. A May memo from the CEO …

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Readers and Tweeters Defend Front-Line Nurses and Blind Us With Science

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. The demand for skilled nurses during the pandemic is through the roof! Travel nurses command a hefty salary and they are worth every penny… #COVID19 #pandemic #RN https://t.co/gYQpkHqaoX — Talmage …

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KHN on the Air This Week

KHN senior correspondent JoNel Aleccia discussed the demand for COVID-19 vaccines with Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Thursday. Click here to watch Aleccia on Newsy Read Aleccia’s “Demand for COVID Vaccines Expected to Get Heated — And Fast” KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal discussed COVID vaccine distribution and its potential hiccups with RNN TV’s “Richard French Live” …

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NYC Hospital Workers, Knowing How Bad It Can Get, Brace for COVID 2nd Wave

No single municipality in the country suffered more in the first wave of the pandemic than New York City, which saw more than 24,000 deaths, mainly in the spring. Medical staff in New York know precisely how difficult and dangerous overwhelmed hospitals can be and are braced warily as infections begin to rise again.  Around …

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For Nurses Feeling the Strain of the Pandemic, Virus Resurgence Is ‘Paralyzing’

For Christina Nester, the pandemic lull in Massachusetts lasted about three months through summer into early fall. In late June, St. Vincent Hospital had resumed elective surgeries, and the unit the 48-year-old nurse works on switched back from taking care of only COVID-19 patients to its pre-pandemic roster of patients recovering from gallbladder operations, mastectomies …

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Need a COVID-19 Nurse? That’ll Be $8,000 a Week

DENVER — In March, Claire Tripeny was watching her dream job fall apart. She’d been working as an intensive care nurse at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado, and loved it, despite the mediocre pay typical for the region. But when COVID-19 hit, that calculation changed. She remembers her employers telling her and her colleagues …

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Anger After North Dakota Governor Asks COVID-Positive Health Staff to Stay on Job

Nurse Leslie McKamey has gotten used to the 16-hour shifts, to skipping lunch, to the nightly ritual of throwing all her clothes in the laundry and showering as soon as she walks through the door to avoid potentially infecting her children. She’s even grown accustomed to triaging COVID patients, who often arrive at the emergency …

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Long-Term Care Workers, Grieving and Under Siege, Brace for COVID’s Next Round

In the middle of the night, Stefania Silvestri lies in bed remembering her elderly patients’ cries. “Help me.” “Please don’t leave me.” “I need my family.” Months of caring for older adults in a Rhode Island nursing home ravaged by COVID-19 have taken a steep toll on Silvestri, 37, a registered nurse. She can’t sleep, …

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‘Is This Worth My Life?’: Traveling Health Workers Decry COVID Care Conditions

This story also ran on The Guardian. It can be republished for free. David Joel Perea called from Maine, Vermont, Minnesota and, ultimately, Nevada, always with the same request: “Mom, can you send tamales?” Dominga Perea would ship them overnight. That’s how she knew where her 35-year-old son was. The traveling nurse had “a tremendous …

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COVID Spikes Exacerbate Health Worker Shortages in Rocky Mountains, Great Plains

COVID-19 cases are surging in rural places across the Mountain States and Midwest, and when it hits health care workers, ready reinforcements aren’t easy to find. In Montana, pandemic-induced staffing shortages have shuttered a clinic in the state’s capital, led a northwestern regional hospital to ask employees exposed to COVID-19 to continue to work and …

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COVID Spikes Exacerbate Health Worker Shortages in Rocky Mountains, Great Plains

COVID-19 cases are surging in rural places across the Mountain States and Midwest, and when it hits health care workers, ready reinforcements aren’t easy to find. In Montana, pandemic-induced staffing shortages have shuttered a clinic in the state’s capital, led a northwestern regional hospital to ask employees exposed to COVID-19 to continue to work and …

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They Cared for Some of New York’s Most Vulnerable Communities. Then 12 Died.

Dr. Reza Chowdhury didn’t charge copays when his patients were low on cash. He gave them his home phone number and answered their medical questions at all hours. Once, when Chowdhury’s daughter, Nikita Rahman, struck up a conversation with a New York taxi driver, it turned out that he was from Bangladesh and knew her …

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Teen Artist’s Portraits Help Frame Sacrifice of Health Care Workers Lost to COVID

As Xinyi Christine Zhang watched the COVID-19 death toll among health care workers rise this spring, she wanted to find a way to give solace — and thanks — to their families. The teenager, of South Brunswick Township, New Jersey, joined her church in commemorating members who had died of COVID-19. But she was driven …

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Más de 900 trabajadores de salud han muerto por COVID-19 en los Estados Unidos. Y la cifra aumenta

Más de 900 trabajadores de atención médica esenciales han muerto por COVID-19, según una base de datos interactiva creada por The Guardian y KHN. Lost on the Frontline es una asociación entre las dos redacciones que tiene como objetivo contar, verificar y honrar a cada trabajador de salud de los Estados Unidos que ha muerto …

Más de 900 trabajadores de salud han muerto por COVID-19 en los Estados Unidos. Y la cifra aumenta Read More »

Adding To COVID Stress, Families Of Health Workers Fight For Denied Workers’ Comp Benefits

James “Mike” Anderson was a hospital employee in suburban Philadelphia with a low-profile though critical job: changing air filters in COVID patients’ rooms. By late March, new COVID cases in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, had ramped up to as many as 90 per day. At the hospital, Anderson handled air filters and other surfaces that might …

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Lost On The Frontline

America’s health care workers are dying. In some states, medical personnel account for as many as 20% of known coronavirus cases. They tend to patients in hospitals, treating them, serving them food and cleaning their rooms. Others at risk work in nursing homes or are employed as home health aides. “Lost on the Frontline,” a …

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