Many nurses said their workplaces didn’t do enough to keep them safe during the pandemic.
An American Nurses Association survey, conducted in December 2020, found many nurses feel the same — about 27% of respondents said they disagreed with the statement that their employers valued their physical health and safety. Even more nurses — around 31% — disagreed with the statement that their employers cared about their mental health.
Nurse Megan Chao Smith was rattled when her unit at a Minneapolis hospital suddenly started accepting Covid-19 patients. Staff told nurses at Chao Smith’s hospital nurses shouldn’t wear masks because it could “scare people,” and if they did have masks, they’d reuse them until they fell apart.
She shared, “It wasn’t a feeling that anybody had our back.” Chao Smith lost faith in the people leading her and in the institutions setting the rules while Covid-19 guidelines kept changing so she quit her job.