Blair Reeves |
According to the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), the healthcare industry is one of the largest and fastest growing areas in the United States. As of 2019, the industry has 22 million workers, accounting for 14% of all US workers.
Shakee King is one of the 22 million people working in the healthcare sector. 23-year-old Shakee has been working as a certified nursing assistant for about four years. Her work is focused on caring for patients and maintaining their daily lives and needs.
“The work during this pandemic was really stressful and heartbreaking. Seeing my patients suffer and die on a daily basis affected me emotionally and mentally. “Shakee explained in an email. “Honestly, the fact that many of us have been doing this for years and are being recognized right now, so being labeled as an essential worker actually affects me. Is not given. “
When the virus was first discovered in the United States, hospitals and medical staff were quickly overwhelmed by the number of COVID-19 cases and the shortage of PPE and personnel. Doctors and nurses were praised as heroes and thanked them for their service, but suffered pandemics in other ways.
According to the census, “California has 718,011 medical support workers, the highest number in the state, accounting for about four out of 100 workers in the state.”
Shakee is one of many healthcare professionals working in San Bernardino, California. She is also part of a quarter of black medical support workers in the industry. In addition, women also accounted for three-quarters of full-time health care workers.
The pandemic has revealed an excess of economic and racial disparities within the US healthcare system. Specifically, the pandemic revealed the fact that racial and ethnic groups are “disproportionately represented in critical working environments such as medical facilities, farms, factories, warehouses and food processing.” , Accommodation and food services, retail services, grocery stores, public transport, “according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.
This imbalance partially explains why blacks and Hispanic or Latino people died of COVID-19 at a higher rate than non-Hispanic whites. Social determinants of health care access, income, occupation, physical environment, etc. also explained why these historically excluded groups contracted or died at a higher rate with COVID-19.
Shakee initially worked in a nursing home and now at Dignity Health – Community Hospital in San Bernardino, working throughout the healthcare pandemic.
“At first, I didn’t feel safe because I had a positive COVID test and I knew I was infected with COVID from work because I lived alone and didn’t go outside of work,” says Shakee. “But when I recovered from it, I went back to work and noticed the change, so I felt safer.”
Healthcare workers throughout the state feel unsafe and unprotected during the pandemic because there is no initial protocol to protect against COVID-19. Hospitals are now better managed due to the availability of PPE and improved case numbers, but the new delta variant has caused an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Medical professionals who have worked during the pandemic for the past year and a half have shown different ways to deal with the harsh realities of pandemics and the healthcare system.
on WednesdayNurses, members of the National Nurses United (NNU), the country’s largest RN union and professional association, held a National Day of Action as a way to demand the protection of patients and nurses. .. Nurses from Dinity Health-San Bernardino Community Hospital, St. Bernardino Medical Center and Desert Regional Medical Center participated in this action.
“The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the failure of the so-called healthcare system and made it clearer than ever that employers prioritize benefits over the health and safety of patients and nurses.” , NNU President Deborah Berger said. “Nurses across the country are up and calling for significant changes. Pandemics as the number of COVID cases increases and more contagious and deadly variants are prevalent in some parts of the country. Let’s make it clear that is not over. Our employers must act today to address the serious problems of our facility. “
Other frontline workers have claimed fairness in patients and health by leaving the hospital and instead going to the community to provide the necessary medical services and education.
Creating solutions to medical inequality
Dr. Nana Afor Manin, like most healthcare professionals, is an emergency physician overwhelmed by the onslaught of patients hospitalized as a result of COVID-19.
An African-American woman and front-line emergency physician, Dr. Aforminin needs to navigate the health care system and the number of deaths, and knows the black community, her community, so she suppresses emotions. Said it was difficult. , I was more affected by the virus than others.
COVID-19 quickly overwhelmed hospitals and patients, and people in the medical industry struggled to develop new protocols to protect everyone.
“To be honest with you, we are thriving with protocols because everything is so new and in the emergency department. Protocols are based on best practices – rich experience and research, and you put out the protocol. Increasingly, and this is a way to standardize care so that no one feels like they are being treated differently, “said Dr. Aformin. “COVID didn’t give us time to create a protocol. Every day was a new protocol.”
Dr. Afoh-Manin believed that it was important for people to go to them before they arrived at the hospital. Her determination to provide health services and education to her community myCOVIDMDA Los Angeles-based initiative that serves as a “tactical emergency response to the diminished confidence in the healthcare system and the growing public health crisis facing disfranchisement areas across the country.”
“It was difficult to stay in a particular lane. All the emotions and feelings of helplessness, determination, frustration, anger, and hope and tenacity were infused together of all kinds,” said Dr. Aformin. I did. “So, at first I was in the hospital, trying to do as much as I could, and needed more work there, so I realized I had to get out of that space and be in the community. “
“We have launched the myCOVIDMD initiative and launched pop-up community-based testing. It builds a network of community health providers and advocates and health navigators around communities that are inadequately accessed and not needed. It was to keep or put someone in a situation where they felt left behind, “Dr. Aformin explained.
The CDC reported that people in historically excluded racial and ethnic groups were more likely to have increased severity of COVID-19 while in hospital compared to Caucasians. Such disparities may result from lack of access to health care due to lack of transportation, childcare, inability to take time off from work, cultural differences and language barriers, and historical and current discrimination in the medical system. there is.
“Even though I insist on what I’m doing and what I’m trying to do, too many people die, and not only death, but family separation has really reached me,” said Dr. Aformin. I did. “And I know some of my colleagues who stopped taking medicine in the meantime. I know some of my colleagues who committed suicide. I know some of my colleagues who died. So my mental sanity is helping my community. I knew that, it was so difficult at first that it would save my life. “
Dr. Afoh-Manin claimed that myCOVIDMD saved her life because the creation of the initiative marked the moment she felt she could do something — she was in poor health within the color community. We were able to help provide a solution on an equal footing.
This initiative was launched under the Shared Harvest Fund, an organization backed by volunteers who receive student loan benefits. The company’s goal is to reduce the $ 20 million debt of student loans for young black and brown professionals, as well as front-line volunteers and medical professionals working at COVID-19.
Key workers continue to work at the forefront as nurses, doctors, warehouse personnel, cashiers, mental health social workers, and more, endangering their health. Healthcare professionals like Sheikh are constantly informed about pandemics and appropriate precautions to keep themselves and others safe, as new delta variants are beginning to make up the majority of new COVID-19 cases. We encourage the public to take action.
This story is presented in partnership with Southern California Black Worker Hub.. Essential Stories is a movement-building advocacy campaign created to enhance the voice and experience of black California workers.You are invited and encouraged to follow This link And share your story.Breanna Reeves, a reporter in Riverside, California, uses data-driven reports to address issues that affect the lives of African Americans. Breanna will be participating in BlackVoice News as a report from America Corps members. Earlier, Breana reported on her activities and social inequality in her hometowns of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Breanna graduated with a bachelor’s degree in printing and online journalism from San Francisco State University. She holds a master’s degree in politics and communication from London Schon.l of Economics. Contact Breanna for tips, comments and concerns. firstname.lastname@example.org Or via Twitter @_breereeves.
Black Healthcare Workers’ Cared for Patients While Risking Personal Safety Source link Black Healthcare Workers’ Cared for Patients While Risking Personal Safety