Hello. I’m new here, so apologies if this has come up before and I missed it.
I keep reading/hearing that hospitals are overrun with patients and staff are exhausted. I have not seen that in my own community, but doesn’t mean it’s not happening. The narrative is that if more people would get vaccinated the hospitals would not be overwhelmed. I feel this is a very myopic view of the issue and I’d love to see some DATA on this. One factor that is never discussed is the fact that a decent number of health professionals have left or been released due to being unvaccinated, so how does that contribute to this problem? What about the many people who could not utilize the hospital for most of 2020 for elective procedures? Has this backlog added to the problem? Finally, what about mental health and substance abuse issues that have risen as a result of COVID protocols and whatnot? Seems to me there are many factors contributing to the hospitals being crowded (if that’s even true), and I’m just wondering if there are some actual NUMBERS that could help us better understand the full picture.
As a person who works in an emergency department I can confirm that there are very long wait times to get patients admitted to hospitals. Often they wait in the ED for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days before a bed opens up. My informal polling of ED doctors (the EM Docs facebook group) says this is widespread.
Hospital administration refers to this as a “bed shortage.” But it is not about furniture (not having physical beds) nor is it about physical rooms in the hospital. Both rooms and physical beds are abundant.
There are not enough nurses.
The reasons that there are not enough nurses is a complex topic that includes a mix of forces, factors and special interests all of which make laws impacting the practice of medicine. Many of these laws are motivate to improve quality and safety, yet have unforeseen effects to lessening quality and safety. Some are simple greed and skimming of the system. Some relate to regulating the core problem of the triangular relation ship (patient, doctor, payor).
There are not enough pages on this blog to go over all of the troubles hospitals are having!
I know a nurse in a major West Coast hospital. She tells me that part of the problem is a deliberate cutback on staff in order to maximize profit. The remaining staff is overworked to the point of exhaustion and burnout.
People are leaving the profession since it is no longer remunerative, worthwhile or satisfying as an occupation.
I am not sure what you can deem as exhausted and overworked. , I am exhausted due to the pandemic not because I am doing more work, but, the work I do is more work because of the pandemic. Basically more effort to do the work. And this would probably be the same with the healthcare profession. Its not more patients , its more red tape , to get $$ associated with the patients – and that is more work than actually providing the appropriate care to the patients.
My county publishes all statistics on this. You can see how many beds they have and available, how many icu beds, how many vents etc. Then you can see how many covid patients they have, how many admitted, how many in icu, how many vented. So, you can see over-time if their load is indeed going up or down.
We are definitely nowhere near peak, but on trending upward again. But on the lower side, where basically, only July where the vaccine seemed to be working in its early phase. ( if this was even due to this ) We had a wave in Late 2020 early 2021 , which was our peak. We had another wave “when delta hit” but this showed oddly enough a surge in pediatric cases ( however, they all had to test to get back to school) So it may have just been a testing phenomenon. However, it did result in a wave of admissions and deaths. when we have had no pediatric deaths in the county. So, you have huge surge of pediatric cases but many elderly deaths. However, I do not believe they are related. Meaning, I do not believe there were anymore cases in the kid, it was just a matter of faulty testing or just testing in general. However, psychologically, people start to panic as more cases are reported, and then react to that, when sickened. They are more likely to go to the hospital, more likely to be admitted, and more likely to receive negative treatments.
Just my belief. Bottom line, we have seen surges and waves. None which have put the hospitals beyond or to their capacity. We have seen two that lasted about 1-2 mos. that may have pressed the staff more than usual. so about 2-3 mos of increased workload in two different waves. It should not have exhausted anyone. I dont hear from anyone locally, that there is a meltdown in community. ( Medical is one of the primary industries where I am )
Stay home. Nurse yourself. Obtain all the required drugs to get you through any Covid-19 infection, do not rely on any hospital to give them to you.
If your doctor refuses to treat your symptoms…fire them….and obtain another. Leave any hospital which will not treat your symptoms.
Teach yourself what to do…and you will fair much better.
Use online doctors and get yourself a complete Covid-19 KIT.
I work for a system that has 3 hospitals in a large city in NE Florida. We have a total of 3 COVID patients- 0, in 1 hospital, 1 in another, and 2 in the largest. Back in August we had 1,000 COVID patients in the 3 hospitals. This is the best it has been throughout COVID as far as COVID hospitalizations. The hospitals are overwhelmed due to staff shortages (vax mandate + burnout/ exhaustion, but the issue is not a shortage of beds, or COVID cases overwhelming them.
This is what I suspected. The narrative is being spun to make it look like the unvaccinated are flooding hospitals. It’s BS. I don’t even know what to say to people who believe this nonsense anymore… 🙁
“The omicron, in particular, is of concern because we know the transmissibility is much higher, the severity may be not as acute, but we are seeing it disproportionate 48 cases in California that we have identify. This is important. The vast majority, the overwhelming majority have been fully vaccinated. That’s why masking becomes even more important in this environment. And so the imperative is to get through this winter surge and to do so in a way we come out the other side and we have a chance to reevaluate.”