Traumatized and Fearful, N.J. Nurses Want Change
Like veterans of any war, many nurses who have fought COVID-19 in New Jersey’s hospitals dwell less on their heroism than on the trauma they have witnessed.
They are relieved the surge has passed. But with the potential for future waves ahead, New Jersey’s hospital nurses aren’t sure they can face it.
Many are disturbed, and possibly traumatized, by the amount of death they have witnessed. They feel anxious about their own health, their exposure to the virus and the contagion they may bring home. Some worry about layoffs or furloughs, and whether image-conscious hospitals will punish them for speaking out.
They want changes next time, if there is a next time: They want to be heard. To be prepared. Above all, to be protected.