nurse explains what it’s like to be redeployed to intensive care during COVID-19 pandemic – .

nurse explains what it’s like to be redeployed to intensive care during COVID-19 pandemic – .

Registered nurse in Edmonton sheds light on what it’s like to be redeployed to intensive care during wave four of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Natalie Caramata has been a registered surgical nurse for 11 years. In previous waves of the pandemic, she was sometimes redeployed to different units for a day or two to help, but found herself redeployed indefinitely to intensive care on September 2.

Caramata is one of the many nurses who have been redeployed to intensive care to help deal with the increase in COVID-19 cases. In order to free up space and health workers, Alberta health services have been forced to postpone a significant number of surgeries since mid-August.

“It was shocking because I’ve never worked in intensive care in my career,” she said. “I have no training as a heart monitor, I have no training in critical care. “

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Caramata – like other nurses redeployed to the ICU – is limited in the care she can provide there. Basic patient care, such as administering medication, mixing intravenous medications, checking blood sugar or blood pressure, is consistent across the board, she said, but she can’t handle anything with ventilation or monitors.

“Basically we are doing what we can do so that critical care nurses can do what we cannot do,” she said.

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This sometimes includes standing there and monitoring the patient to make sure they do not move or pull any of their catheters. If anything happens, all Caramata can do is often call an intensive care nurse.

“It’s very scary,” she said. “I’m used to being proficient at what I do, and if something should go wrong, I could act really fast and do what needs to be done. In this case, sometimes the only thing I can do is call for help and start putting on PPE so that I can go into the room.

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“But it’s scary because I don’t know what to do when I’m in there. The monitors beeping (but) I’m not trained on what all those other numbers mean, where all the leads are on the patient’s body – I’m not trained in this area.

“I can be an extra pair of hands, but I can’t really jump in and do what needs to be done. “

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As Caramata calls critical care nurses some of the most dedicated and amazing people she has ever met, the reality, she says, is that there just aren’t enough of them. She says those there are run down and exhausted, caring for more patients than they normally do.

And when the number of COVID-19 intensive care and hospitalizations was not as high as it is today, these nurses had no respite as they cared for post-operative patients who needed in-patient care. intensive.

Caramata says the threat that Alberta will have to activate an intensive care triage document also hangs over the hospital.

It’s something that no one ever wants to do, ”she said. “They look to medicine to save lives, not to decide who will live and who will not.

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“It doesn’t make things easier, but it’s going to be necessary. People need to know… it’s so scary. No one ever wants to have to do this.

As of September 14, 71.4% of eligible Albertans aged 12 and over were fully immunized with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Caramata is begging those who are not vaccinated or have only one dose not to wait to receive their next vaccine.

“It’s bad and it’s going to get worse and it’s scary,” she said. People are dying.

“Trust the science. Just trust the science as you trust the pilot, as you trust the architect. Trust the professional.

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Alberta on Wednesday broke another record for the number of people with COVID-19 in intensive care units. There were 877 people hospitalized receiving care for the novel coronavirus, including 218 in intensive care.

The province also confirmed 1,609 additional new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Full issues are available in this story.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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